Divine Experiences and Godless Euros

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By Vienna’s International Society

November 7, 2011

From 7 – 13  August 180 teams competed at Europe’s most important debate tournament in Galway, Ireland. DKW sent Karoline Lutz and Regina Puthenpurayil as Vienna B, Leonhard Weese and Christoph Jäger as Vienna A  along with Rosie Halmi as adjudicator. The buzz around the ESL final motion “THBT God Exists” has eclipsed most other remembrances of the tournament. This report will hardly do otherwise. In any event, should one think of Galway as a godforsaken place, think again. 

Euros – Infos 

Teams from European universities, including Middle Eastern and Central Asian universities, are eligible to participate at the European University Debating Championship (EUDC).  The annual tournament is usually hold in August and organized by a university that proposed a bid at the previous EUDC Council. The EUDC Council holds its session during the tournament and is delegated to vote on the next organizers and plenty of other things.
Teams compete in 9 preliminary rounds in British Parliamentary Style and can break to quarters either as an English Second Language (ESL) Team or into the Open / English as professional proficiency break. EUDC 2011 was hosted jointly by the Law Society and the Literary Debating Society of NUI Galway and supported by the National University of Ireland Galway.
This year the Irish girl Ruth Faller was entrusted with the task of the Chief adjudicator. The Deputy Chief Adjudicators were Oxford University almuni Shengwu Li, Simone van Elk from Leiden University, Yoni Cohen from Tel Aviv University and the Galway’s homeboy, the infamous Steven Nolan.
The University of Belgrade will be hosting Euros 2012, convened by Milan Vignjevic. Art Ward as Chief Adjudicator, Manos Moschopoulos, as Assistant Chief Adjudicator, Isa Loewe, Ben Wooglar, Filip Muki Dobranic and Stephen Boyle as Deputy Chief Adjudicator make a sensational adjudication team.


Granted, tourists might observe the most dispensable details, but the first thing that I spotted in an Irish convenience store was a postcard saying something close to this:

He had 12 drinking friends.
He trained as a carpenter to work on the buildings.
He was unemployed.
He lived with his mother until he was 33.
He thought his mother was a virgin.
His mother thought he was God.”


Home country of Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett surely associates God in its own interesting ways.

The participants of the tournament were accommodated at what is called the Corrib Vilage which is located on grounds of NUI Galway University. Each apartment on campus was equipped with a kitchen and a living room and single bedrooms some of which with a king size option – to do ungodly things, perhaps. We all know DK teams never make use of such options other than to get a full night sleep.

Fresh and early all teams competed in nine preliminary rounds throughout three days, debating death penalty, Obama, gender roles, Israeli – Palestinian conflict and priest duties. Those teams that took enough wins could break to quarters, semis and finals in both ESL and main categories which was carried out the fourth day. Duly noted, each round was religiously following the schedule.

The final took place at the Raddission Hotel and was concluded with the Championship Ball where the winners were announced after a slap-up meal. Ben Woolgar and Hugh Burns from Oxford won the NUI EUDC 2011 defeating Thomas Ball and Benjamin Dory from Durham B, Jack Watson and Harish Natarajan from Cambridge A and Niamh Ni Mhaoileoin and Catherine Murphy from Trinity College Dublin Historical Society B debating the motion “This house believes that the state should pay reparations to women”. Catherine Murphy  was crowned best speaker of this year’s European Championship.

The trophy for the winning english second language speakers (ESL) goes to the Israeli brothers Omer and Sella Nevo from Tel Aviv A defeating Radu Cotarcea and Bianca Dragomir from Babes Bolyai A, Romania, Daniel Springer and Jeroen Heun from Erasmus A, Netherlands debating the motion “This house believes that God exists”.

We won’t go into rapture about the debate quality of the ESL final considering that the topic puts even experienced debaters out of their comfort zone. A summary of the controversy that the motion has stirred up can be followed on Achte Minute. Truly recommendable are Manos Moschopoulos’ comments on it.

One of the prodigious brothers from Tel Aviv B confessed during his speech, to have implored religious blessings supplicating for a winning Israeli team before walking to that final. Now one may wonder if he would have prayed likewise had he known the motion. Then again, it seems to have worked. While this gets far to confusing; we know one thing for sure: Steven Nolen’s prayers for decent weather were clearly ignored.



Adjudication test (online). THW allow people to booby trap their homes.

Mo 8.8

Round 1. THW bring back the death penalty

Round 2. THW prohibit the media from using software to alter an individuals appearance

Round 3. THBT Germany should ban the publication of Mein Kampf indefinitely

Tue 9.8

Round 4. THBT Barack Obama should have vetoed any debt deal that did not increase taxation.

Round 5. THW allow the creation of donor siblings

Round 6. THBT hacking is an acceptable form of protest against large corporations

Wed 10.8 (closed)

Round 7. THW not teach gender roles in kindergarden

Round 8. THBT America and the EU should cease all financial political and military support to both Israel and the Palestinian authority until they reach a peace agreement.

Round 9. THW Legally Require Priests to Report All Serious Crimes that They Hear in Confession.

Thu 11.8

ESL Quarter final. THW ban all EU arms companies from selling arms outside the EU

Open Quarter final. THW Never Fight for King and Country

ESL Semi final

Open Semi final. THBT the West should promise preferential economic and political cooperation to Arab democracies that adopt secular constitutions

Fri 12.8

ESL Final. THB in Gods existence

Open Final. THB the state should compensate women



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