The announcement of the preliminary rounds of the National Gaelic Schools Debate competition has been made and the 2017 competition looks set to be another excellent year! The first two rounds will be held at e-Sgoil in Stornoway, on Tuesday the 7th and Wednesday the 8th of November 2017. For the first time ever the first rounds from Stornoway will be available online, through e-Sgoil’s You Tube channel and live streamed to a potentially global audience!
Sixteen teams from sixteen schools are due to compete in the 2017 competition with Wallace Academy and Bishopbriggs Academy making a welcome return! Following on from the positive feedback received from the new competition format, all the schools will participate in debates over the two days, with the four teams with the highest points, across the two days, progressing to the final stages which will be held in Glasgow and Edinburgh on Tuesday and Wednesday the 28th and 29th of November 2017. The Committee welcome back Christina Walker and Angus MacDonald who return as judges and they will be joined by Iain Stephen Morrison.
Whilst looking forward to the 2017 competition the Managing Committee would like to pay tribute to Donald MacLean and Seonaidh Alick MacPherson, who both recently passed away. Donald and Seonaidh Alick, along with Alasdair Morrison were the founders of the Deasbad and the Committee would like to extend their sympathies to both families at this sad time.
The draw for Round One is as follows:
Lionacleit School V Nicolson Institute
Castlebay Community School V Wallace High School
Tain Royal Academy V Portree High School
Oban High School V Sir E Scott School
Dunoon Grammar School V Glasgow Gaelic School
Hazlehead Academy V Mallaig High School
Bishopbriggs Academy V Gairloch High School
Lochaber High School V Inverness Royal Academy
Calum Iain Macleod, Director of Development at Comunn na Gàidhlig, and Chairman of the National Gaelic Schools’ Debate Management Committee commented:
“In this the 19th year of the competition we are delighted to have been able to secure funding to enable us to continue. I would like to thank the following for their support: Bòrd na Gàidhlig, The Scottish Government, Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig, Skills Development Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, The Highland Council and Glasgow City Council. Also Comunn na Gàidhlig and BBC Radio nan Gàidheal. Following the success of the 2016 Debate which saw Eilidh MacPhee and Alix Aburn from Inverness Royal Academy emerge as the worthy winners, a high level of competition was set and we look forward to another year of interesting and thought-provoking debates.”
“It was with great sadness that we learnt of the death of two of our founder Members - Donald MacLean, originally from North Uist who served as a Councillor for Lochmaddy from 1994 to 2007. It was Donald who had the original idea for a Gaelic Schools Debate, and worked diligently to bring that vision to reality. His own oratory skills in both Gaelic and English were renowned and he was an outstanding after-dinner speaker. Also, Seonaidh Ailig MacPherson, also from North Uist, who passed away in Canada where he had lived for a number of years. Seonaidh Ailig was an enthusiastic supporter of the Deasbad and served on the panel of judges many times. We are very grateful for their contributions over the years, and would like to express our sympathies to their families and friends.”