Special Events

The Golden Reunion #crapminutes

The Golden Reunion Literific Debate took place on the 15th of June in Riddel Hall. It was totally cool with former Literificans mixing it up with the current crowd. The event was  chaired by Brian Garrett and our own Paul Shannon was the timekeeper, keeper of times. The motion was ‘This House Believes the Future is Not What It Used to Be’, a motion keeping in with the (at least then) Society’s tradition of having weird artsy titles, Mr Garrett even asked us to keep hush about the use of a self-evident motion.

On the side of the proposition were our experienced counterparts, Denis Tuohy and Mike Douse. Representing the 164th Session were Andrew Carruthers and Julia Andrade Rocha.

The proposition argued that in their time they had different worries and were naïve. He said the time we live in was unimaginable. They told us how back in the day the Literific held an annual Orange and Green debate, an event where speakers would act out and be ridiculous. There was also some beautiful poetry from Mike Douse, ahem, ‘When I spoke in the Literific, I felt terrific, when I spoke at the Phil I felt violently ill, when I spoke at the Hist I felt pi-…intoxicated.’

Meanwhile Carruthers and Andrade Rocha tried to defend our honour by saying the present is the future that was always going to happen. They said that it is important to want to create a better future and to hope. There was some bragging about the Literific. Andy tried some spiel about it being his last speech as President.

Questions were then heard from Robin (?), James McAlister, Craig Camda (?), Grendal Hayes, Conor Conneally, John Dunlop (saying Andy was in a three piece suit so #old school and living in the past), Marie-Louise Synnott, Basil McCrea and Adam Kydd (defending the 18th century).

Mr Garrett said he was more confused about the motion that he had originally been. We went to a vote and it was a drawww. Although I remember the ‘classic’ Literificans saying the current posse were too tame.

The Stormont Debate

The Stormont Debate took place on the 22nd of October and was part of our Stormont Mixer. Ooooh. I want to say 30 people were there, I’m not sure. Yours truly was chairing. The motion was ‘This House Believes More MLAs Should Resign’ (at least I think that’s what the motion was).

Anna Lo, Phil Flanagan and Andrew Carruthers proposed the motion, Basil McCrea, Adam Kydd and Conor Conneally opposed it. I have no idea what they said, one because I took no notes and two because politics, aint nobody got time for politics, I am a woman of science not PPE. God. I do remember Ms Lo going way over her time and me feeling totally awkward about making her stop talking. Actually, I also think we might have had two propositions one after the other as well. I can’t remember.

The Schools’ Competition

The very first Literific Alpha Schools’ Cup Competition (there are various titles) took place on the 26th of February in the Students’ Union and I believe about 14 schools entered thanks to the wonderful work done by Andrew Carruthers.

The first rounds were judged by experienced Literificans, including but not limited to, Alex Philpott, Marie-Louise Synnott, Julia Andrade Rocha and Naomh Gibson and the motion had been ‘This House Would Change the Channel on Reality TV’. Yours truly, Tara Pouryahya, chaired the final which was judged by Mark Carruthers, Adam Kydd, Jonathan Taylor, Connor Houston, Paul Shannon and Basil McCrea.

The four schools in the final were Victoria College Belfast (Katie McComb and Basma Salem, proposition), St Louis Kilkeel (Ciara Leneghan and Laura Grant, opposition), Ballymena Academy (Kerry McQuillan and Katherine Aiken, proposition) and St Colmans College Newry (Gavin Fleming and Conor Fegan, opposition). The motion was ‘This House Would Emigrate’ (motions borrowed from the Irish Times).

The quality of debate was ridiculously high (not joking) despite me being too quiet and Basil being present. Our runner up team were St Colmans College Newry and our winners were Ballymena Academy. They got pretty awards that had our logo on them. There were also individual winners from the heats I believe but I wasn’t there soooo.

Good show, I got Andy some whiskey (Adam wanted me to get port but there was no port) by asking the guy at the off license for the most pretentious whiskey befitting a past debate president. Supposedly it was a good choice.

The Cross Border Debate

The 4th (I believe) Annual Cross Border Debate between the Literific and the Hist (boo) took place on the 14th of March in the Great Hall. It was attended by over 53 people. The event was sponsored by the Irish Association and John Neil was our special guest chair. It is important to note that Aisha and I were meant to meet with the Hist at the bus stop and we somehow missed them, one set of the Hist just disappeared for like half an hour. However, interesting stories involving the Hist are really to be told by Adam Kydd, I will not delve deeper into this pit of distraction.

The motion was ‘This House Believes Immigration Will Put an End to Sectarianism’. Adam Kydd, Stephen Barr (the Hist, ugh) and James McAlister proposed the motion. Stephen Goss, Oisín Vince Coulter (the Hist, gross) and Connor Hogan opposed the motion.

The proposition talked about sectarian politics, the need for identity and a metaphor involving Guinness. This doesn’t sound very propositiony but in fairness Adam was incoherent rambling and Stephen Barr was talking like he had to use every word in existence with one breath.

The opposition talked about a lack of peace, segregation and the ability of sectarianism to prey on difference.

The debate then went to the floor and questions were heard from Marie-Louise Synnott, Julia Andrade Rocha, Conor Conneally, Pawel Romanzuk, Brian Kennaway, Andrew Carruthers, Ben Murphy, William Dunne, Brian Kissock and some people who left before I could get their names. Both sides summarised and we went to a vote. The motion was defeated with 33 nayes, 18 ayes and 1 absention.

Cian McCann then presented President Kydd with the most *beautiful [omitted]-the tie of the Historical Society. Mega cringe.

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