Irish Rising in America

The 2001 Irish Tour of America


On Wednesday, March 21, the three winners fly from Dublin to Chicago. They enjoy a night on the town in Chicago with Katie Neff, a member of Chicago’s Second City comedy club.

On Thursday, March 22, they fly to Denver on Thursday, for dinner with Brent Northup and his Carroll College debaters. They stay at the Denver Hyatt Tech Center.

On Friday evening at 7 p.m., the Irish will be featured in an exhibition debate against three of America’s finest debaters. The debate will be held at the Hyatt Tech Center.

On Saturday, March 24, the Irish will be transported to Vail, Colorado, for a full day of skiing. Their host will be Janie Vincent, a college student who is an avid skiier.

On Sunday and Monday, March 25-26, the Irish will be guests at the National Parliamentary Debate Association national championships in Denver held at Metro State College.

On Tuesday, March 27, the Irish fly to San Diego to see the beaches, the zoo and Sea World. Point Loma Nazarene will host them.

On Thursday, March 29, the Irish fly to San Antonio, Texas where they will participate in the International Public Debate Association Tournament at Saint Mary’s College. Other international teams will be present.

On Sunday, April 1, the Irish will tour the Alamo and other local San Antonio sites.

On Monday, April 2, the Irish fly to Fayetteville, Arkansas. They will participate in an exhibition debate and will tour historic Fayetteville, Prairie Grove State Park and a civil war battlefield with a reconstructed pioneer village.

On Thursday, April 5, the Irish fly to Virginia. They will participate in an exhibition debate and tour Jamestown Colony in Williamsburg.

On Saturday, April 7, the Irish take the train from Virginia to New York City for a night in Manhattan hosted by New York attorney, and former Carroll debater, Chris Huck.

On Sunday, April 8, the Irish fly home to Dublin from New York.

Irish Tour of America, arranged by Pax Rhetorica
Center for Global Dialogue
EIN: 81-1274216
Brent Northup, Founding Director


Introducing the Irish: Yvonne Campbell, Brid McGrath & Aoife Titley

In March the three finest debaters in all of Ireland will visit the United States.

The three winners, all fourth-year students from Trinity College in Dublin, survived a year-long competition in Ireland, culminating in their victory in “The Irish Times Debate Final” held at University College Dublin on Friday, Feb. 23.

The topic for the debate final was “That this House agrees Sinn Fein has a place in the Republic’s Government.” To add spice to the evening, Martin McGuinness, education minister of Northern Ireland, chaired the debate. McGuinness is a well-known politician and activist who has played a colorful part in the recent history of Northern Ireland.

The winning team was Yvonne Campbell and Brid McGrath. The winning individual was Aoife Titley. The winners all hail from Trinity College in Dublin. There were 12 speakers during the final debate – four two-person teams and four individuals. Each delivered a single speech, but each was also welcome to rise to ask questions during the evening.

The judges of the Irish Times Debate final were Charles Meenan, SC; Emmet Oliver, of the Irish Times; Paul McDermott, law professor; Mary Finlay, SC; and Brent Northup, of Carroll College in Montana.

Yvonne Campbell: Yvonne Campbell, from Crumlin, is a fourth-year history and political science major at Trinity contemplating graduate work in international relations or European politics. She dreams of a career in the department of foreign affairs of Ireland. Campbell’s victory comes after years of championship debating. As a freshman, she reached the semi-finals of the Irish Times competition. As a sophomore she was on the runner-up team in the final. Asked how she felt to finally win the competition, she replied with Irish conviction: “It’s deadly….simply brilliant.”

Brid McGrath: Brid McGrath, from Cappawhite, a village of 500 in the county of Tipperary, is also a fourth-year history and political science major. Her future may include journalism, teaching or politics. McGrath also has a history of success in the competition. As a freshman and as a sophomore she was runner up in the Times Final. As a junior she won a major Dublin competition. As a senior, she advanced to the championship rounds at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in January.

“I was very nervous tonight,” said McGrath. “It’s actually a bit of a relief to win. I’ve never been to America. I’m delighted.”

Aoife Titley: Aoife Titley, from Glasnevin in Dublin, is a fourth-year student majoring in philosophy and politics. She plans a year of travel, before considering a career in politics. Aoife’s brother Gavin won the Irish Times Final in 1993, so Aoife continues a family tradition of debate success. Titley has had debate success throughout college, including reaching the semi-finals of the all-Ireland debate competition during her sophomore year. “I’m really delighted,” said Titley. “I was hoping to visit America sometime soon.”

Campbell, McGrath and Titley’s prize is an Irish Times-sponsored trip to the United States. The three debaters will meet three of the United States’ top debaters (Shane Mecham of Truman State; Jason Anderson, Point Loma Nazarene; Matt Dunn, Colorado State University) in an exhibition debate held at the National Parliamentary Debate Association’s national tournament in Denver held March 23-26 at Metro College. After that tournament, they will begin a tour that includes San Diego, San Antonio, Fayetteville, Williamsburg and New York City. Most stops will include an exhibition debate as well as a “cultural tour” of the area. The three-week tour ends with a flight from New York to Dublin on Sunday, April 8.