RBAI narrowly beat Bangor Grammar School in the final of the Northern Ireland Civic Trust Debating competition last week.
The schools saw off competition from 83 other schools to reach the grand final, held in the Senate Chamber in Stormont.
This prestigious competition has existed for 18 years and is designed to prepare the younger generations for future public service.
Both BGS and Inst have long and successful traditions of debating.
Before the main debate the Best Individual Speaker competition took place expounding the very topical question of the role of social networking sites in revolution. The six speakers put forward succinct and relevant arguments making for a highly charged and entertaining debate. This stage of the Competition was won by Richard Hill of Portadown College for his calm demeanour and broad yet detailed arguments.
The main debate brought the issue much closer to home with the motion ‘This House believes that Northern Ireland requires an official opposition as it has reached political maturity’. Proposing the motion were Philip Morrison and Andrew Carruthers from RBAI, and opposing the motion were Luke Garbutt and Alex Pokey of BGS. The two sides had very different styles: BGS with pragmatic and persistent arguments; RBAI with flourish and vigour.
In the end RBAI were the victors, winning a trophy and £1000 for their school.