UCC Philosophical Society

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UCC Philosophical Society
Logo of the UCC Philosophical Society.png
Founded 1850
University University College Cork
Website UCCPhilosoph.com

The UCC Philosophical Society, Commonly known as the Philosoph,[1] is the largest debating society at University College Cork, Ireland. The Philosoph was founded in 1850, making it the oldest society at UCC.[2] The Society carries out a number of functions, including weekly debates with high-profile guest speakers, participating in debating competitions, running workshops for the students of UCC to develop their public speaking skills and running debating competitions and workshops for schoolchildren (including the Denny Schools Debating Competition). In the 1960s Seán MacBride SC and Nobel Peace Prize winner called the Philosoph "the centre of independent thought in Ireland" when discussing the state of the nation.[3] It has been a feature of scholarly life in Cork for generations.

In 1986 Siobhán Lankford and Brian Hassett won the World University Debating Championship at Fordham University.

Weekly House meetings[edit]

House meetings of the society are held every Monday evening during UCC's term time at 7.30pm, usually in the Boole Basement - though larger meetings are sometimes moved elsewhere.[4] The meetings usually begin with the reading of minutes of the previous meeting, followed by private members time. This is then followed by the main Debate.

UCC Quadrangle


Guests have included Judge Maureen Harding Clark of the International Criminal Court, Iar-Thaoiseach Dr.Garret FitzGerald, Gerry Adams, Michael Foot MP, Adrian Hardiman, Catherine McGuinness, Michael McDowell Teachta Dála, Seamus Mallon, Sen. David Norris, Iar-Thaoiseach Liam Cosgrave, Princess Anna Radziwiłł, Noam Chomsky, Erskine Childers, George Galloway (who walked out mid-debate) Nobel Laureates Mairead Corrigan and Seán MacBride.

Famous members[edit]

The list of former Auditors includes Sean O Riada, Eoin "The Pope" O' Mahony and Ralph G Sutton SC. Former Presidents include Charles Haughey. See List of Auditors Auditor RC Webster won TV's Brain of Britain. Other members include Prof. Donnchadh Ó Corráin of UCC, Prof.. Kieran Healy of the University of Arizona, Dr Kieran Holland of the University of California, Colm O'Cinnéide [1] No other Irish Debating Society can boast that one of its former committee members has had a #1 hit in the Irish singles charts. Former Recording Secretary Brendan O' Connor achieved this feat with "Who's in the House?", continuing the long established tradition of eccentrics in the Philosoph.

Competitive events[edit]

The Society runs a number of internal competitions for members, such as the Lord Mayor's Gold Medal (individual competition), the Philosoph Mace (team competition) and UCC Maidens (competition for new speakers held with The UCC Law Society).

In addition, the Society funds speakers in competitions throughout Ireland and internationally. A number of Intervarsity competitions are hosted throughout Ireland and the UK which the society participates in such as the UCD Vice-President's Cup, the Oxford Union and Cambridge Union Intervarsities and the National Law Debates in Galway. The Society also enters the John Smith Memorial Mace and the Irish Times competition.

Internationally, the society participates in the World Universities Debating Competition and the European Universities Debating Competition. The society has enjoyed considerable success in international debating, with a team EUDC Semi-Finals and two teams in the World University Debating Championship Quarter-Finals in the past, while Auditor of the society for 2006/07, Diarmuid Early, won the Irish Times final in February 2006.

As well as participating in competitions, the Society has a good record of hosting competitions. It became the first Irish Society to host the European Universities Debating Championships in 2005, with what is widely considered to have been the best Championships to date. It has also held the World University Debating Championships in 1996 and the John Smith Memorial Mace Final in 2003.

The Philosoph hosted the 2009 World University Debating Championship in partnership with The UCC Law Society. Additionally, the society hosts its own Inter-Varsity each December. It dates back to the Mercier Cup of the 1970s whose winners include Charles Kennedy. Noted for its atmosphere, the Cork IV has become the biggest IV in Ireland.

Committee of the 163rd Session[edit]

  1. Auditor: Katie Dennison
  2. External Vice-Auditor: Lucy Jones
  3. Internal Vice-Auditor: Owen Murphy
  4. Finance Officer: Annie Nevala
  5. Social Secretary: Jessica O'Connor
  6. PRO: Ruth Lawlor
  7. Schools Convenor: Anna Cremin
  8. Recording Secretary: Conor O'Brien
  9. IV Convenor: James Reidy
  10. Development Officer: Davy Jones
  11. First Year Rep: Josh O'Mahony
  12. Ex-Officio: Sophie Scannell
  13. Projects Officer: Clodagh Feehely

Committee of the 164th Session[edit]

  1. Auditor: Ruth Lawlor
  2. External Vice-Auditor: Conor O'Brien
  3. Internal Vice-Auditor: Michelle Coyle
  4. Finance Officer : Anna Cremin
  5. Social Secretary: Sarah Dunphy
  6. PRO: Katie Mullane
  7. Schools Convenor: James Reidy
  8. Recording Secretary: Kevin O'Toole
  9. IV Convenor: Ciara Grant
  10. Development Officer Katie Dennison
  11. Schools Development Officer: Eva Cummins
  12. Webmaster: Markus Knutsson
  13. First Year Rep: Kelly Doherty
  14. Ex Officio: Davy Jones
  15. Projects Officer: Clodagh Feehely

Committee of the 165th Session[edit]

  1. Auditor: Sarah Dunphy
  2. External Vice-Auditor: Ciara Grant
  3. Internal Vice-Auditor: Owen Murphy
  4. Finance Officer : Anna Cremin
  5. Social Secretary: Clodagh Feehely
  6. PRO: Kelly Doherty
  7. Schools Convenor: Eva Cummins
  8. Recording Secretary: Sean Crowley
  9. IV Convenor: Ellen Flanagan
  10. Development Officer: Ruth Lawlor
  11. Projects Officer: Cliona Cowhig
  12. Archives Officer: Fia Long
  13. Webmaster: Colm Cahalane
  14. General OCM: Shane O Connor
  15. First Year Rep: Cian Luddy
  16. Ex Officio: Annie Nevala

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Maume's History - UCC Philosophical Society". uccphilosoph.com. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  2. ^ "Maume's History - UCC Philosophical Society". uccphilosoph.com. Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  3. ^ Hall, Denise (2012-05-17). "Getting To Grips With The Bigger Questions - Irish Examiner". Retrieved 2015-04-07. 
  4. ^ "House Meetings - UCC Philosophical Society". Retrieved 2015-04-07. 

External links[edit]