4761461474_5e35429597_bRenowned for the quality of its social events and friendly and relaxed atmosphere, the Cork IV is the largest IV in Ireland, hosting 88 teams in 2016. It was also the first Irish Intervarsity to break to quarter-finals as a result of the large number of teams. The Cork IV has grown to become one of the largest and most popular intervarsities in the UK and Ireland.

While the society has played host to several intervarsity competitions, the Cork IV in its current incarnation has been hosted since the mid-1990’s. The IV is traditionally held on the first weekend of December, though semesterisation in other Irish universities led to consideration of a move to an earlier date in recent years. It is the last Irish IV before the World Universities’ Debating Championships and the first Irish IV of the year for Ireland’s largest University, UCD, facts which add to the large numbers of teams that enter. Interestingly, until 2007 the Novice Final had only ever been won by teams with at least one former Irish World Schools’ (WSDC) speaker on the team.

The IV takes place over 2 days (Friday evening and all day Saturday) and consists of 5 preliminary rounds of debating, with 8 teams traditionally progressing to Semi-Finals (16 to Quarter-Finals in 2005). The Grand Final traditionally takes place in the Aula Maxima in UCC in what is considered one of the best settings for an IV final in Ireland. In 2007 the Final was held in a candle lit Honan Chapel and in 2008 it was held in Boole 4.

The Cork IV picks up on a Christmas theme; on the Friday night after two rounds of debating everyone can try their hand at karaoke and also the Christmas jumper competition. Every year there is a fantastic candlelit Christmas dinner on the Saturday night before the grand final. The competition includes a novice break, an ESL break and an open break, thus making it the perfect preparation for Worlds. After the final debaters get a taste of Cork City, visiting one of the top venues in town every year. The competition is held on UCC campus, which is centrally located and a short walk from the city center and hostels.

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