Katelyn Hennessy, Taylor Fitzgibbon and Leah McDonald of ScoilChriostRi, Portlaoise, with Head of the Department of Built Environment at IT Carlow, Edwin Landzaad.

Katelyn Hennessy, Taylor Fitzgibbon and Leah McDonald of ScoilChriostRi, Portlaoise, with Head of the Department of Built Environment at IT Carlow, Edwin Landzaad.

The Department of Built Environment at IT Carlow recently hosted a secondary schools debating competition, generously sponsored by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and Purcell Construction. The aim of the competition, now in its second year, is to encourage pupils who may not have considered a career in the built environment to explore topical issues within the sector through the means of an inter-schools debate. Each school team prepared a debate for or against the motion ‘This house believes that economic growth is inextricably linked to growth in the construction sector’. ScoilChriostRi, Portlaoise, and the Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, were the chosen winners from the qualifying round. Both teams were then given just half an hour to construct arguments for the motion ‘This house believes transition year should be abolished’.
The judges had a difficult task appointing a winner; however, Taylor Fitzgibbon and Leah McDonald from ScoilChriostRi were eventually named as the winning team, with Rachelle Bowden and Molly Kavanagh of the Ursuline Secondary School as runners up. Edwin Landzaad, Head of the Dept. of Built Environment at IT Carlow, commented: “We were looking for a vehicle through which secondary school students could engage in constructive debate about the state and future of our built environment. My thanks to everyone involved in organising and sponsoring this event and to the participants for their tremendous effort”.