UCD students reach Irish Times debating final

Three students from UCD's Literary & Historical Society have won a place in the final of the Irish Times debating final, one of Ireland's most prestigious debating competitions.Peter Murphy and Rob Mac Carthy (pictured), who competed as a team, and L&H auditor Eoin MacLachlan, who competed as an individual, took part in a semi-final hosted in Newman building's Theatre Q on Monday night. The motion debated was that "This house believes gross offence to the dignity and identity of groups can justify restricting free speech". The debate made frequent reference to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the ensuing discussions in the global press regarding the role of offence and satire. The debate was chaired by Patrick Smyth of The Irish Times. Teams from UCC, Trinity College Dublin, and the Cadet School also competed in the debate, alongside individual speakers from Maynooth University and the Cadet School.Three more UCD students, Luke Murray of UCD L&H and Alex Owens and Barry Singleton of UCD MedSoc, will be competing in semi-finals in the coming weeks. The competition's final will be hosted by Maynooth University on February 20th.