161st Session (2010/2011)

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Previous Session:
160th Session
161st Session
2010 - 2011
Next Session:
162nd Session

The 161st Session ran from 1st June 2010 to 1st June 2011.

In terms of the House Meetings, the society had a number of high profile guests, including climate change sceptic Viscount Christopher Monckton, former political aide Alistair Campbell and retired Supreme Court Justice Catherine McGuinness. With the Philosoph on the Radio (5th ordinary house meeting), host to an audience of over 10,000 listeners to 106-108FM's Coleman at Large, the society had the largest audience of any society event in the country that year and most likely in its own history. Similarly, in holding the UCC Comedy Competition (11th house meeting), the society held what is believed to be the largest prize fund for any competition in its history.

The year saw the finals of both the John Smith Memorial Irish Mace and the All-Ireland Schools' Debating Competition held in UCC, for the first time either final had been held outside Dublin. The session also played host to three intervarsity competitions: the Cork Open, the Cork Invitational and the Cork IV. Externally, the session was also one of considerable competitive success, which saw UCC make up a quarter of the break at Trinity, and have Philosoph members in the finals of nine competitions.

With its first and last extraordinary general meetings held on 26th June 2010 (Cork Open final) and 17th April 2011 (Munster Mace) respectively, the active part of the session would appear to have been one of the longest and most lively in recent times, earning itself the affectionate epithet of being the session "that just wouldn't die".



Ten positions were up for election at the AGM of the 160th Session; Auditor, External Vice-Auditor, Internal Vice-Auditor, Finance Officer, Social Secretary, Public Relations Officer, Schools Convenor, Development Officer and Recording Secretary were all uncontested. The position of IV Convenor was the only one to be contested, in which Anne O'Donovan defeated Joe Lynch and Ryan O'Callaghan-Locke to be elected to the position. Ultimately the Auditorial race was uncontested and won by Kieran O'Sullivan. Marie Dromey had intended to compete for the position, however, as a first year, her candidacy would have been subject to a constitutional amendment to allow first years to run. As the EGM required for such an amendment never occurred, she was precluded from declaring.

Votes Cast for position of IV Convenor: Anne O'Donovan: 25 Joe Lynch: 15 Ryan O'Callaghan Locke: 7 RON: 0 Spoiled: 1

Minutes 160 AGM by John Beechinor Candidate Minutes 160 AGM by Barry O'Gorman


In April of 2010, the new session asked for nominations for co-options. All of the nominees were interviewed and of them, three were chosen for the positions of: Webmaster, Archives and Alumni Officer and Ex-Officio. These positions were given to Emmet Curtin, Kieran Murphy and Joe Lynch respectively. Another co-option was opened on 9th October 2010, for the revived position of Schools Development Officer. The position was given to Eva Cummins, a previously successful Munster schools debater and first year Law and French student.

Ordinary Meetings[edit]

1. Arrest The Pope Debate[edit]

Boole 4, Monday 27th September 2010 "That This House Would Arrest The Pope" Proposition: Michael Nugent: Chairperson of Atheist Ireland Kevin Annett: Canadian writer, documentary-maker and former minister of the United Church of Canada Opposition: Jack Valero: Co-ordinator of Catholic Voices and spokesperson for the Opus Dei foundation in the UK Luke Harris: UCC Law graduate and former auditor Motion was carried by a slim majority Minutes 161 1 Media Coverage: File:UCC Philosoph Society - Arrest the pope.pdf (Cork Independent 30/9/2010) File:UCC Philosoph Society - Vatican.pdf (Evening Echo 27/9/2010)

2. Climate Change Debate[edit]

Kane G19, 4th October 2010 "That This House Believes that Man-Made Global Warming is a Global Crisis" Proposition: Graham Parkes: Professor in Environmental Philosophy, UCC Opposition: Christopher Monckton: Deputy Leader, UK Independence Party, 3rd Viscount of Brenchley Motion was carried by a sizeable majority Private Members' Time: That This House Would Lift the Garment Proposer: Joe Lynch Seconder: Sean Butler Opposer: Kevin O'Toole The first PMT of the year addressed the proposed ban on the burqa in public places being deliberated by several European governments. Motion was heavily defeated Minutes 161 2

3. Palestine Debate[edit]

Kane G19, Monday 18th October 2010 "That This House Supports a Cultural Boycott of Israel" Proposition: Raymond Deane: A member of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign and chief organiser of the cultural boycott of Israel Opposition: Tom Carew: Chairman of Irish Friends of Israel Motion was carried by a roughly two to one majority Minutes 161 3

4. Alternative Medicine Debate[edit]

Kane G19, Monday 1st November 2010 "That This House Believes Alternative Medicine does More Harm than Good" Joint event with the UCC Medical Society Proposition: Paul O'Donoghue: Irish Skeptics Tom Cotter: UCC Biochemistry Department Opposition: Orla Broderick: Homeopath David Tredinnick: Conservative Party MP in House of Commons Motion was defeated Minutes 161 4 Media: File:UCC Philosoph Society - Alternative Med.pdf (Evening Echo 20/10/2010)

5. Philosoph on the Radio[edit]

Clarion Hotel, Cork, Monday 8th November 2010 Guest Chair: Marc Coleman On the Panel: Councilor Chris O'Leary Councilor Kieran McCarthy Dr Alan Titley, UCC Prof William Reville, UCC Tomás Mulcahy, former Cork hurler PJ Coogan, reporter 96FM et al. Marc Coleman's show, "Coleman at Large" attracted an audience of over 10,000 at around this time, almost certainly meaning that this event had the largest audience of any Society event in the country that year. Indeed, it may have been the largest audience that the Philosoph has had for any event in its history. Minutes 161 5

6. Extended PMT Debate[edit]

Kane G19, Monday 15th November 2010 "That This House Would Wear the Poppy" Proposer: John Beechinor Seconder: Joe Lynch Opposer: Kieran Murphy Motion was defeated "That This House Would Blaze it Up" Proposer: Conall Ó Deasmhúnaigh Seconder: Vincent Lacey Opposer: Joe Lynch Motion was passed "That This House Would Honour It" Proposer: Gearóid Wrixon Seconder: Barry O'Gorman Opposer: Cathal Malone The "it" in this case referred to Kieran O'Sullivan's appendix, in the only recorded case of a HLM being proposed for an organ. Motion was passed A constitutional technicality was cited to prevent the awarding of the HLM, at the discretion of Sophie Scannell, as acting auditor. Minutes 161 6

7. The Fees Debate[edit]

Kane G19, Monday 22nd November 2010 "This House Would Re-Introduce College Fees" Proposition: Dr. Declan Jordan: UCC Economics Department Opposition: Conan O Broin: Deputy President, Union of Students In Ireland Motion was passed Private Members' Time: "TTHB the legacy of this government is one of forced emigration, economic desolation and hopelessness." Proposer: Conor Crean, Young Fine Gael Opposer: Brendan Finucane, Ógra Fianna Fáil Seconder: Tadhg O'Donovan, Young Fine Gael Minutes 161 7 Media: File:UCC Philosoph Society - 3rd level fees.pdf (Evening Echo 22/11/2010)

8. Internal Mace Final[edit]

Grand Hall, Freemasons Lodge, Cork, Friday 10th December 2010 That this house would allow individuals to delete some and all of their memories 1st Prop: Anne O'Donovan & John Beechinor 2nd Prop: Kieran Murphy & Jesse Harrington 1st Opp: Sean Butler & Gearoid Wrixon 2nd Opp: Maureen Haverty & Sophie Scannell Winners: Maureen Haverty & Sophie Scannell Best Speaker: Sophie Scannell Judges: Kate Brady (Chief Adjudicator), Catherine McGuinness (former Justice of the Supreme Court), Deirdre Milner, Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin, Claire O'Sullivan Greene The Meeting was chaired by Aoife Spengeman Minutes 161 8 by Davy Jones Media: File:UCC Philosoph Society - Freemason lodge.pdf (Evening Echo ??/12/2010)

9. The Abortion Debate[edit]

Kane G19, Monday 17th January 2011 "This House Would not Legalise Abortion" Proposition: Prof. William Binchy: Regis Professor of Law at Trinity College Cork Sen. Rónán Mullen: Opposition: Mary Favier: Doctors for Choice Keith O'Brien: President of University College Cork Students Union Motion was Defeated Minutes 161 9 Media: Irish Times 18/1/2011 Photography in the Evening Echo

10. Alistair Campbell[edit]

Devere Hall, Student Centre, Tuesday 9th February 2011 Address by Society Patron Alistair Campbell Joint event with UCC's Entrepreneurial and Social Society Minutes 161 10 Media: File:UCC Philosoph Society - Cambell.pdf (Cork Independent 29/9/2010) Campbell Impresses Crowd, But Little Controversy (CorkStudentNews.com 11/2/2011)

11. Comedy Competition[edit]

G19, Kane Building, Monday 14th February 2011 Eight comedians vied for four prizes generously provided by the UCC Cummings Library of Humour Bequest. The total prize fund was €1,600 making this one of the largest funds for any competition in UCC that year. It would also appear to be the largest prize fund for any competition in the history of the Society. Winner: John Goodwin (€650) Runner-up: Bernard Casey (€450) Third Place: David Moloney (€250) Best New Comedian: David Berry (€150) Minutes 161 11

12. Irish Language Debate[edit]

G1, Kane Building, Monday 21st February 2011 "That This House Believes that Irish has no role in Modern Society" Proposition: Luke Harris: Former auditor Opposition: Professor Alan Titley: UCC Irish Department Motion was Defeated by significant margin Minutes 161 12 by Kieran Murphy

13. SU Presidential Debate[edit]

G19, Kane Building, Monday 28th February 2011 (organised by the SPC) Chair & Co-Moderator: Davy Jones Co-Moderator: Ben English Guest Recording Secretary: Greg Higgins Candidates: Keith O'Brien Ben Honan Minutes 161 13 by Greg Higgins

14. Wikileaks Debate[edit]

G19, Kane Building, Monday 7th March 2011 "That This House Believes that Wikileaks is a threat to the International Community" Joint event with the International Relations Society Proposition: Daniel Patrick McCarthy: LSE graduate and former European Universities' Debating Championships finalist Opposition: Professor Harry Browne: Professor of Journalism DIT Motion was Defeated by a margin of one. Private Members' Time: "That this house regrets Labour's Decision to go into Government with Fine Gael" Proposer: Mark Collins Seconder: Greg Higgins Opposer: Seán Butler Minutes 161 14

15. Aid Debate[edit]

G19, Kane Building, Monday 14th March 2011 "That This House Believes that Foreign Aid has failed the Developing World" Proposition: Sean Butler Opposition: Shane Lyons Motion was Defeated by a small margin. Minutes 161 15 by Gearoid Wrixon

16. Gold Medal[edit]

Lord Mayor's Council Chambers, City Hall Cork, Monday 21st March 2011 "TTHB that the West Should Oppose Arab Democracy " Proposition: Sean Butler Kieran Murphy Runner-Up Opposition: Sophie Scannell Maureen Haverty Winner Minutes 161 16 by Luke Harris

Extraordinary General Meetings[edit]

Cork Open Final[edit]

Cypress Avenue, Saturday 26th June 2010 Motion: That This House Would Open All Borders 1st Prop: Stephen Boyle and Mark Haughton 2nd Prop: Aengus O'Corrain and Gregg O'Neill 1st Opp: Derek Doyle and Maurice Cotter 2nd Opp: Eoghan Casey and Paddy Rooney Winning Team: Eoghan Casey and Paddy Rooney Minutes 161 Cork Open See also: Cork Open 2010

Cork Invitational Final[edit]

University Council Chambers, UCC, Thursday 2nd December 2010 Motion: That This House Believes that matters of Constitutional Law should be determined by Juries and not Judges 1st Prop: Maria English (Cambridge) & Aliyah Akram (Cambridge) - Cambridge Women's Open 2011 2nd Prop: Gavin Illsley and Christine Simpson (UCD L&H) - The Furious Dearvs 1st Opp: Sean Butler (UCC) and Gearoid Wrixon (UCC) - IMFistan University A 2nd Opp: Niall Sherry and Muireann O'Dwyer - Barbra Streisand Winning Team: Niall Sherry and Muireann O'Dwyer - Barbra Streisand

Cork IV Final[edit]

Aula Maxima, UCC, Saturday 4th December 2010 Guest Chair: Thomas Coughlan, Thomas Coughlan & Co. Solicitors Motion: That This House Believes Irish Sovereignty can never be truly realised 1st Prop: Doug Cochran and Maria English (Cambridge A) 2nd Prop: Rob Honig and Ali Al Khatib (Leiden Debating Union A) 1st Opp: Christine Simpson and Mark Haughton (UCD L&H) 2nd Opp: Niels Schotler and Richard Robinson (University of Manchester) Winning Team: Leiden Debating Union Minutes 161 Cork IV IV Videos: Cork IV 2010 - Sabotage Cork IV 2010 - Irish Times The Board Game Cork IV 2010 - POIs See also: Cork IV 2010

Munster Schools' Debating Competition Final[edit]

Aula Maxima, UCC, Saturday 5th February 2011 Guest Chair: Robbie Butler, UCC Economics Department Motion: That This House Would Abolish the Welfare State 1st Prop: Charlotte Smith and Catherine Noonan (St. Angela's College Cork) 2nd Prop: Ronán O'Connor and Alan O'Regan (Christian Brothers College Cork) Runners-up 1st Opp: Zack Frenett and Conor O'Brien (Christian Brothers College Cork) 2nd Opp: Joey Doverman and Jack Moloney (Rockwell College Tipperary) Winners 1st Prop Individual: Niamh O'Driscoll (Mercy Heights Skibbereen) Runner-up 2nd Prop Individual: Jack Jeffries (Rockwell College Tipperary) 1st Opp Individual: Clíona Ní Gadhra (St. Angela's College Cork) 2nd Opp Individual: Zoe Fannon (St. Al's Carragtwohill) Winner Minutes 161 Schools by Luke Harris Judging Panel: Eoghan Casey (chair), Paddy Rooney, Aengus O'Corrain, Tiernan Fitzgibbon, Eoghan McSwiney, Luke Harris, Daniel P. McCarthy, Kieran Murphy, Maureen Haverty

Maidens Final[edit]

UCC Council Chambers, Wednesday 9th March 2011 Jointly Hosted with UCC Law Society Motion: That This House Would Legalise Incest Proposition: Saoirse Carberry Nick Liddane Aisling Ryan Winner Opposition: Davy Jones Ciara Grant Eva Cummins Runner-up Judging Panel: Siobhán Lankford (chair), Brian Hassett, Seán Butler, Luke Harris, Maureen Haverty, Christine Simpson, Dearbhla O'Gorman

Irish Mace Final[edit]

Honan Chapel, Friday 8th April 2011 Jointly Hosted with UCC Law Society Motion: That This House Would Institute Gender Quotas of 50% in Dáil Éireann 1st Prop: UCC Philosoph - John Beechinor and Sean Butler 2nd Prop: Trinity College Historical Society - Niamh Ní Mhaileoin and Huw Duffy Winners 1st Opp: UCD Literary & Historical Society - Kieran Daly and Niall Fahy 2nd Opp: Dublin University Philosophical Society, TCD - Ricky McCormack and Fiachra Fallon-Verbruggen Judging Panel: Mhairi Murdoch (chair), Eoghan Casey, Ruth Faller, Steven Nolan, Gregg O'Neill, Jason Vitt, Johnathon Wyse Minutes Mace Final 161 See also: Recording of the Irish Mace Final

All-Ireland Schools' Debating Competition Final[edit]

Aula Maxima, UCC, Saturday 16th April 2011 Guest Chair: Councillor Chris O'Leary, Cork City Council Motion: That This House Would Abolish the Minimum Wage 1st Prop: Michael Barton and Kevin Dooney (CBC Monkstown, Dublin) Runners-up 2nd Prop: Catherine Noonan and Charlotte Smith (St. Angela's College, Cork) 1st Opp: Joey Doverman and Jack Moloney (Rockwell College, Cashel) 2nd Opp: Ross O'Ceailaigh and Daithi Kilgarrif (St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam) Winners 1st Prop Individual: Zoe Fannon (St. Al's Carragtwohill) 2nd Prop Individual: Andrew Forde (Coláiste Iagnoid, Galway) Runner-up 1st Opp Individual: Austin Conlon (CBC Monkstown, Dublin) Winner 2nd Opp Individual: Niamh O'Driscoll (Mercy Heights Skibbereen) Judging Panel: Mark Collins (chair), Seán Butler, Alanna Landers, John Beechinor, David Hartery, Liam O'Neill, John Engle Minutes 161 All-Ireland Schools by Shane Lyons

Munster Mace Final[edit]

Council Chambers, UCC, Sunday 17th April 2011 Motion: That This House Would Allow People to Prosecute their Cheating Partners in Civil Courts 1st Prop: Conor O'Brien and Josh O'Mahony (CBC) 2nd Prop: Enda Kerr and Alan O'Regan (CBC) 1st Opp: Jack Corbett and Rónán O'Connor (CBC) 2nd Opp: Zoë Boland and Robert O'Driscoll (Composite) Winners: Enda Kerr and Alan O'Regan (CBC) Judging Panel: Sophie Scannel (chair), Jesse Harrington, Eva Cummins, Davy Jones, Kieran O'Sullivan, Jolene Quinn, Joe Lynch


UCD Novice IV 2010 Winner: Davy Jones and Tara O'Halloran (UCC/TCD Composite) Finalists: Sarah Morrissey and Hilary Bowen-Walsh UCD VPC IV 2010 Semi-finalists: John Beechinor and Sophie Scannell (Breaking 7th, losing semi on 5-2 split) Nottingham Trent IV 2011 Semi-finalists: Jesse Harrington and Becky West Trinity IV: Dean Swift 2011 Finalists (Breaking 4th): Sean Butler and Sophie Scannell Finalists (Breaking 10th): John Beechinor and Gearoid Wrixon Quarter-finalists (Breaking 7th): Kieran O'Sullivan and Becky West Quarter-finalists (Breaking 8th): Jesse Harrington and Aaron Vickery representing UCC Law Society Breaking judges: Jolene Quinn and Anne O'Donovan The Irish Times Debating Competition Semi-finalist: Kieran O'Sullivan as an individual Semi-finalist: John Beechinor as an individual Semi-finalists: Jesse Harrington and Kieran Murphy Semi-finalists: Sean Butler and Vincent Lacey John Smith Memorial Irish Mace Finalists: John Beechinor and Sean Butler Quarter-finalists: Michelle McCarthy and Kieran O'Sullivan Quarter-finalists: Kieran Murphy and Gearoid Wrixon Quarter-finalists: Jesse Harrington and Aaron Vickery representing UCC Law Society Edinburgh Open 2011 Finalist (Breaking 2nd): Becky West and Wieger Kop representing Leiden Debating Union St. Andrews Balaka Individual Speakers Competition Finalist: Becky West Galway National Law Debates 2011 Finalists (Breaking 3rd): John Beechinor and Mark Haughton (UCC/UCD Composite) Semi-finalists (Breaking 6th): Pete Doughton and Davy Jones (Durham/UCC Composite) Breaking judges: Vincent Lacey; Luke Harris, Steven Nolan and Tony Murphy (alumni) Manchester IV 2011 Finalists (Breaking =3rd): Becky West and Wieger Kop (representing Leiden Debating Union) National Maidens' Debating Competition 2011 Semi-finalist: Davy Jones Limerick Open 2011 Finalists: Sean Butler and Maurice Cotter (UCC/NUIG composite) DCU Open 2011 Finalists: Sean Butler and Sean Kearns (UCC/NUIG composite) Semi-finalists (Breaking 8th): Davy Jones & Derek Lande - (broke 8th on a coin toss tie-breaker) Bremen Open 2011 Winner: Becky West and Rogier Baart (representing Leiden Debating Union)

Society achievements

Society Achievement Award Aoife Spengeman (with Psych Soc) Barry O'Gorman (with IR Soc) Emmet Curtin Winner: Best Political and Debating Society Best Fresher (Davy Jones) Shortlisted: Best PR and Promotion (Sarah Morrissey) Best Event (Cork IV 2010) Best Society

Previous Session:
160th Session
161st Session
2010 - 2011
Next Session:
162nd Session