The 110th Session of LawSoc began yesterday evening with the annual ‘Culchies vs. Dubs’ debate. Due to physical distancing guidelines, the comedic event looked a bit different than usual as no spectators were allowed in the FitzGerald Chamber to watch the debate unfold. Before the debaters were introduced, however, Correspondence Secretary Fiachra Nolan took a few minutes to address the controversy surrounding the event description for the debate.

The original description included a satirical insinuation that people from Dublin are more employable than those from other counties which caused great offence. Nolan said that the society was inundated with tweets and Instagram comments criticizing the description and as a result, a society member decided to “quickly and unceremoniously” edit the description. Nolan acknowledged the “fair critiques” that playing into the “snooty” stereotype only reinforces the perceptions that debating societies are insular and elitist, which he promised to keep in mind in the future. He concluded by lightly mocking those who tagged ‘UCD School of Law’ in their complaints as the account is actually a parody account set up by Sutherland students.

The teams were divided into separate rooms, with ‘Dubs’ in the FitzGerald Chamber and ‘Culchies’ in the Red Room nearby. The debate, which was live-streamed over Zoom with 120 student spectators, was opened by Emer Nolan with the confession that despite being on the ‘Dubs’ team, she is not actually from Dublin!

The Greystones native insisted that she belonged to the team as she believes her love for oat milk hot chocolates from Happy Pear is enough to qualify her as a city slicker and ultimately “if the Dart goes there it’s in Dublin”. She pondered what happens when the boy “who’s probably gonna play junior county next year” texts and asks: “u up?” She eventually came to the conclusion that it is undoubtedly awkward for all parties involved. 

Oisín MacFhogartaigh, the longest-serving LawSoc committee member, was the first to represent the ‘Culchies’. His debate was presented in an anecdotal form as he described his experience moving to Dublin. He argued that the transition came with unwelcome changes, that he now says ‘yous’ instead of ‘ye’ and drinks almond milk lattes instead of Barry’s tea. Even in his move to Australia, he couldn’t escape the Dubs as he found himself living with “ten D4s” who he insists were part of the infamous Ark Bar video.

Mark Smyth, the second person to take the podium for the ‘Dubs’, based his argument on “Dublin Tinder” which he insisted was one of the perks for students coming to study in the capital as “second cousins are few and far between”. However, he warns newcomers that the only similarity he’s noticed between life on campus and the university life depicted in the television show ‘Normal People’ is all the people needlessly dropping quotes by Noam Chomsky and Karl Marx into everyday conversation. Therefore, those who have hopes of falling in love with a rugged GAA player with a hidden love for poetry will most likely end up disappointed, even with the help of tinder. 

Tommy MacDiarmada was the next speaker for the ‘Culchies’ and based his argument for Culchie’s superiority on sex, driving, and theatre. In an argument echoing the one he posed in 2018, MacDiarmada complained that there was too much choice in the capital and that romantic relationships outside of Dublin were far simpler.

Frances Aketch was the final speaker for the Dubs and questioned if the country is so great, why have all the Culchies chosen to study in Dublin? She advised incoming students from outside Dublin that “a county jersey and skinny O’Neill’s tracksuit bottoms are not appropriate for a night out” but assured them that the ‘Dubs’ would help them navigate city life.

The final speaker of the evening was Joseph Boyle who’s closing argument was that ultimately Culchies had one thing the Dubs could never have…personality. He claimed that all Dubs were dry, took themselves too seriously, and were basically all the same. 

The society posted a poll to their Instagram stories after the debate to determine the winner of the motion. After a few hours of back and forth the ‘Culchies’ were named the winners with a 6% lead over the ‘Dubs’.

Emma Hanrahan – Assistant News Editor