On 17 April, Seanad Éireann hosted a debate by the 16 winners of the Oireachtas all-island school competition. The students debated the legacy of the suffrage movement.

Students debating in the Seanad Chamber

The 16 students selected to take part in the debate were chosen from over 350 entrants in an all-island competition. The winning applicants, and their teachers, visited Leinster House in December to meet the Vótáil 100 team.

TY student debaters in Leinster House

The winning students and their teachers visiting Leinster House, December 2017

The students returned in February, when they learned about using historical sources from historians Louise Ryan and Mary Clancy. They also took part in a workshop with debating coach William Dunne.

The group met again in March for a final debating workshop led by Dr. Maurice Manning, chancellor of the National University of Ireland.

Dr. Maurice Manning addressing students in the Seanad Chamber

Dr. Maurice Manning, chancellor of the National University of Ireland, addressing the students in the Seanad Chamber, March 2018

The debate took place on 17 April in the Seanad Chamber. Each of the students spoke for three minutes on the following motion:

"For many Irish women, the diverse and sometimes conflicting strands of these three movements - nationalism, trade unionism and the women's movement - were but different stages of a single struggle for freedom, justice and equality, one that, it was hoped, would be realised in the institutions, culture and society of Home Rule that might be won for Ireland, or, for the more radical, in an independent Irish republic." - President Michael D. Higgins, International Women's Day 2018

"Has the struggle for freedom, justice and equality been realised in Ireland's institutions, culture and society?"



Senator Ivana Bacik introduces Díospóireacht na nÓg and outlines its importance as part of the programme to commemorate the centenary of the parliamentary vote for women in Ireland.

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