John Smith Memorial Mace

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The John Smith Memorial Mace (previously known as The Observer Mace from 1954–1995) is an annual debating tournament (British Parliamentary format) contested by universities in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The equivalent competition for secondary schools is the ESU Schools Mace.

History[edit]

The competition was founded in 1954 by the journalist Kenneth Harris of The Observer newspaper,[1] and was sponsored by the newspaper until 1995. It was then renamed the John Smith Memorial Mace in honour of the British Labour Party leader John Smith, who won the tournament as a member of the Glasgow University team in 1962, and died in 1994.

The competition has been held annually since 1954, except for 1977, when no tournament was organised. In the early years, neither Oxbridge debating society (the Oxford Union and Cambridge Union) participated. Glasgow University Union has been the most successful institution in the competition's history, winning the tournament 15 times, most recently in 1995.

In addition to John Smith, other notable former winners include Charles Kennedy, Donald Dewar, John Nicolson, Lord Hunt of Wirral and Professor Anthony Clare.

Format[edit]

Since 1993, the competition has been run by the English-Speaking Union, with assistance from regional convenors. Four regional tournmaments are held each year for universities in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Irish tournament is open to teams from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The winners of these four regional competitions then go on to face each other in the International Final, which is held each spring to determine the overall champions.

All debates in the competition are held using the British Parliamentary debate format. Speeches in the International Final and regional finals are nine minutes long, which is longer than at most other British Parliamentary format tournaments, where speeches are usually seven or five minutes long. Until 2001, speeches in the tournament's finals were ten minutes long.

The Mace is considered by many debaters to be effectively an overall championship for the United Kingdom and Ireland, with the regional qualifying tournament serving effectively as national championships for England, Scotland and Wales. The Irish Times National Debating Championship served as the Irish qualifier for the Mace in the 1960s, but is now run separately.

Past champions[edit]

Year Institution / Society Speakers
2013 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society Sally Rooney & Ian Curran
2012 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Ciarán Garrett & Michael O'Dwyer
2011 Cambridge Union Doug Cochran & Maria English
2010 University of Edinburgh Paul Brown & Sebastian Osborn
2009 Oxford Union Jonathan Leader Maynard & Alex Worsnip
2008 Lincoln's Inn Usman Ahmed & Hannah Klein
2007 Cambridge Union Sam Block & Adam Bott
2006 King's Inns Barry Glynn & Mark Murphy
2005 Lincoln's Inn Fiona Dewar & Sebastian Isaac
2004 Cambridge Union Harriet Jones-Fenleigh & Nicholas Tan
2003 University College Cork Law Society Stephen Coutts & Cian Murphy
2002 Lincoln's Inn Dennis Kavanagh & George Payne
2001 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Paul Brady & Colin Walsh
2000 Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society Bob Cuffe & Fergal Davis
1999 University of Edinburgh Andrew Jessop & Richard Wilkins
1998 University of Edinburgh Ben Foss & Colm O'Cinneide
1997 Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society Matthew Magee & Alex Massie
1996 University of Edinburgh Bob Dalrymple & Stephen Magee
1995 Glasgow University Union Manus Blessing & Duncan Hamilton
1994 Oxford Union Rufus Black & Rod Clayton
1993 Gray's Inn David Langwallner & Alan Maclean
1992 Glasgow University Union Robin Marshall & Paul Sinclair
1991 Middle Temple Jeremy Callman & Adam Deacock
1990 Glasgow University Union Graeme Cleugh & Andrew Peterson
1989 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society Anthony Whelan & Malachy McAllister
1988 University College Cork Philosophical Society Adrian Hunt & Tim Murphy
1987 Glasgow University Union Jardine Simpson & John Fletcher
1986 King's Inns Dermot Horgan & Damien Crawford
1985 Glasgow University Union Michael McKirdy & Angus Maciver
1984 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Shane Murphy & Patrick Whyms
1983 Glasgow University Union Michael Macfarlane & John Nicolson
1982 Glasgow University Union Charles Kennedy & Clark McGinn
1981 Lincoln's Inn Oliver Wise & Anthony Trace
1980 Middle Temple Nicholas Mostyn & John Lyons
1979 University College Dublin Law Society Donal O'Donnell & Conor Gearty
1978 University College Dublin Law Society Donal O'Donnell & Conor Gearty
1977 No tournament
1976 Inner Temple Oliver Ross & Martin Russell
1975 Inner Temple Ian Bullock & Edward Croff
1974 Glasgow University Union Alistair Burrow & Martin MacLachlan
1973 Ealing College Barrie Hawkins & Bob Meaton
1972 Glasgow University Union Alan Gamble & Alistair Robertson
1971 Inner Temple John M Aspinall & Dennis M Singham
1970 University College Cardiff John Crook & Nick Jenkins
1969 Cambridge Union Rajeev Dhavan & Nicholas Stadlen
1968 University of Strathclyde John Hutchinson & Victor MacColl
1967 Glasgow University Union Colin MacKay & Matthew McQueen
1966 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society David J McConnell & Cian Ó hÉigeartaigh
1965 University of Bristol Bob Marshall-Andrews & David Hunt
1964 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Anthony Clare & Patrick Cosgrave
1963 Glasgow University Union Donald Dewar & Malcom MacKenzie
1962 Glasgow University Union A Gordon Hunter & John Smith
1961 University of Edinburgh Russell Johnston & David Harcus
1960 University College Cardiff Vincent Kane & Mary O'Neill
1959 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Godfrey Agbim & Owen Dudley Edwards
1958 Birkbeck College Ernest C. Dalrymple-Alford & Fred Crawford
1957 Glasgow University Union Ronald Anderson & James Gordon
1956 Glasgow University Union Roger McCormick & J Scott Bernie
1955 Glasgow University Union J Dickson Mabon & Andrew Kennedy
1954 Ruskin College Tom Megahy & William McCarthy

Most victories[edit]

Glasgow University Union 15 University of Edinburgh 5 Cambridge Union 4 Lincoln's Inn 4 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society 4 Inner Temple 3 Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society 2 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society 2 Oxford Union 2 King's Inns 2 University College Dublin Law Society 2 Middle Temple 2 University College Cardiff 2 University College Cork Philosophical Society 1 University College Cork Law Society 1 Gray's Inn 1 University of Bristol 1 Ealing College 1 Birkbeck College 1 Ruskin College 1

Victories by Country[edit]

Scotland 21 England 20 Ireland 14 Wales 2

Winners of recent national qualifying tournaments[edit]

English Mace[edit]

Year University Speakers
2013-14 Cambridge Union Kitty Parker-Brooks & Ben Adams
2012-13 Kaplan Law School Charlotte Thomas & Stuart Cribb
2011-12 Oxford Union Will Jones & Carin Hunt
2010-11 Cambridge Union Doug Cochran & Maria English
2009-10 Cambridge Union Doug Cochran & Uven Chong
2008-9 Oxford Union Jonathan Leader Maynard & Alex Worsnip
2007-8 Lincoln's Inn Usman Ahmed & Hannah Klein
2006-7 Cambridge Union Sam Block & Adam Bott
2005-6 Cambridge Union Nick Devlin & Alyson Thompson
2004-5 Lincoln's Inn Fiona Dewar & Sebastian Isaac
2003-4 Cambridge Union Harriet Jones-Fenleigh & Nicholas Tan
2002-3 Cambridge Union James Acton & Patrick Emerson
2001-2 Lincoln's Inn Dennis Kavanagh & George Payne

Irish Mace[edit]

Year University Speakers
2013-14 Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society Rosalind Ní Shúilleabháin & Adam Noonan
2012-13 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society Sally Rooney & Ian Curran
2011-12 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Ciarán Garrett & Michael O'Dwyer
2010-11 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin & Huw Duffy
2009-10 Honorable Society of King's Inns Eoghan Casey & Paddy Rooney
2008-9 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society Josephine Curry & Shane Farragher
2007-8 University College Dublin Law Society Marguerite Carter & Ross McGuire
2006-7 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Frank Kennedy & Noel McGrath
2005-6 King's Inns Barry Glynn & Mark Murphy
2004-5 King's Inns Leo Mulrooney & Rory Stains
2003-4 University College Dublin Law Society Sam Collins & David Whelan
2002-3 University College Cork Law Society Stephen Coutts & Cian Murphy
2001-2 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society Manus De Barra & Jim McElroy
2000-1 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Paul Brady & Ian Walsh
1999–2000 Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society Robert Cuffe & Fergal Davis
1998-9 Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society Niall Boland & Colm O'Mongain
1997-8 Trinity College Dublin Historical Society Adrian Langan & Aoife Titley
1996-7 King's Inns Paul McDermott & Colm O'Cinneide
1995-6 University College Galway Literary & Debating Society Mary Cosgrove & Brian Hughes
1994-5 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Marcus Dowling & Dara Ó Briain
1993-4 King's Inns Kerida Naidoo & Newman
1992-3 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Michael Hodgins & Mark Rafferty
1991-2 University College Dublin Literary & Historical Society Michael Hodgins & Mark Rafferty

Scottish Mace[edit]

Year University Speakers
2013-14 University of Edinburgh Shannon Turner & Andrew Beverstock
2012-13 University of St Andrews Ben Adams & Ruairidh Macintosh
2011-12 Glasgow University Union John McGee & Ross Mitchell
2010-11 University of Edinburgh Benjamin Lau & Marlena Valles
2009-10 University of Edinburgh Paul Brown & Sebastian Osborne
2008-9 University of St Andrews Daniel Berman & Thomas Cahn
2007-8 University of St Andrews Doug Cochran & Connie Grieve
2006-7 Glasgow University Union David Adams & Claire Brown
2005-6 Glasgow University Union David Adams & David Tait
2004-5 Glasgow University Union Kenny Fleming & Niall Kennedy
2003-4 University of Edinburgh Mark Dawson & Barney Ross
2002-3 Glasgow University Union Claire Brown & Nick Van Jonker
2001-2 University of Edinburgh Neill Harvey-Smith & Diana Tansley
2000-1 University of Aberdeen Duncan Cockburn & Rami Okasha
1999–2000 University of Aberdeen Duncan Cockburn & Rami Okasha
1998-9 University of Edinburgh Andrew Jessop & Richard Wilkins
1997-8 University of Edinburgh Ben Foss & Colm O'Cinneide
1996-7 Glasgow University Union Chris Elliott & Alan Horn
1995-6 University of Edinburgh Bob Dalrymple & Stephen Magee
1994-5 Glasgow University Union Manus Blessing & Duncan Hamilton
1993-4 University of Strathclyde Jim Begley & Graham Keys
1992-3 University of Strathclyde Alison Brolls & Tommy Tonner

Welsh Mace[edit]

Year University Speakers
2013-14 Swansea University Ieuan Skinner & Liam Dodd
2012-13 Aberystwyth University Roberto Sarrionandia & Ollie Newlan
2011-12 Aberystwyth University Michael Keary & Roberto Sarrionandia
2010-11 Cardiff University Victoria Jones & Kirsty Logan
2009-10 Glamorgan University Solomon Judd & Adam Jivraj
2008-9 Cardiff University Matthew Clarke & Craig Sutherland
2007-8 Aberystwyth University David Jones & Holly Tomlinson
2006-7 Cardiff University Matthew Clarke & Ben Lloyd
2005-6 Cardiff University David Steele & Lowri Rees
2004-5 Cardiff University Chantal Du Toit & Kate Kopajova
2003-4 Cardiff University Helen Jarman & Amy Thomas
2002-3 Cardiff University Helen Jarman & Amy Thomas
2001-2 Swansea University Bethan Thomas & Mike Scott

England & Wales Mace[edit]

Prior to the 2001-2 academic year, England and Wales held a combined qualifying tournament for the International Final of the Mace. At the time, the winners of the Irish, Scottish and English/Welsh tournaments qualified for the International Final automatically, while runners-up from the events qualified for a repechage debate which determined the fourth team in the International Final. After the 2000-1 academic year, England and Wales began holding separate qualifying tournaments and the repechage was abolished.

Year University Speakers
2000-1 Cambridge Union Kirsteen Macleod & Debbie Newman
1999–2000 University of London Union Daragh Grant & James Probert
1998-9 University of Leeds Fergal Davis & Neill Harvey-Smith
1997-8 Inner Temple Jody Beveridge & John Madden
1996-7 Gray's Inn Jon Adkin & Neil Sheldon
1995-6 City University Jon Adkin & Jon Hough
1994-5 Cambridge Union Kelly Rees & Trevor Sather
1993-4 Oxford Union Rufus Black & Rod Clayton
1992-3 Gray's Inn David Langwallner & Alan Maclean

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The journalist who saved The Observer The Guardian, 3 July 2005

External links[edit]