The Lit & Deb are thrilled to welcome TCD’s Philosophical Society to Galway and proud to be associated with its schools programme: PhilSpeaks.


PhilSpeaks is an initiative provided by the Philosophical Society of Trinity College, Dublin devoted to bringing high quality debating workshops and competitions to second level students of all backgrounds and experience levels, all over Ireland. We are committed to giving all students an opportunity to develop themselves as debaters and orators as well as to develop their confidence and enjoy themselves in the process. PhilSpeaks is all about the nurturing the public speaking aspect of competitive debating to allow for holistic development of students; to give them skills that they will use and that will continue to be necessary throughout their lives.



Our Events

The PhilSpeaks initiative runs multiple events throughout the year both at home and nationwide. These include debating workshops, a Pro-Am competition and the pinnacle of our year, the competitive weekend.




We run workshops in Dublin, Cork and this year, for the first time, Galway. These workshops are, at their core, preparatory sessions for the eventual competition and are designed to give those involved a good grounding for successful participation in this. However, they also develop all round oratory skills and confidence in public speaking as well as putting together arguments and presenting ideas on the most topical issues of the day. We combine games and activities to get people speaking and on their feet with open, frank discussions and assistance in putting together arguments and training on the technical parts of competitive debating. In our workshops, we hope to offer both a taster of competitive debating and coaching for those who are already au fait with speaking and in the end to help students feel more comfortable and confident presenting themselves and their views to the world.


 Pro Am Competition:

We are very proud to offer not only theoretical advice to second level students but also practical demonstrations of how to improve. To do so, we run a one day competition in which second level students are paired with university debaters. These composite teams compete in a British Parliamentary style competition in which school students can see first hand how to put the advice into practice. They can also gain specific and tailored advice from their partner as to how to improve and what they are already doing well. Most students find this a most invaluable lesson in debating as well as a day of very enjoyable and high class debates in which they take part. It is a very rewarding competition for both schools student and university student alike.




Competitive Weekend:

All of our preparatory events lead to the competitive weekend. Usually held in January in Trinity College, this is the closest you can get to an IV or university competition without being in university. We run the weekend exactly as a full scale university competition. Teams of two senior cycle students register via their schools from all over Ireland and then compete to win the PhilSpeaks Competitive Weekend. The style is British Parliamentary as in university and we source the highest quality judges and most interesting and sometimes challenging motions to live up to the high quality speaker that, every year, we are faced with. We continue to be awed by the standard, maturity and enjoyable nature of the speeches and speakers who compete every year and we hope this year will be, as always, bigger and better.   




PhilSpeaks Contacts

To keep up to date on the exact times and dates of all of our events, what we’re doing as an organization and some helpful links, tips and videos, check out these links. 

PhilSpeaks-TCD Phil website

PhilSpeaks Facebook page

Or email Harry Morris at

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