Philosophy Club

Scoil Pol Philosophy Club


Our First Trip to the Irish Young Philosopher Awards
- Eabha Coles PresidentHiggins

This year, Ms. Dillon set up a ‘Philosophy Group’ where we would discuss philosophicalsubjects. Each individual or small group was also assigned to do a project on their own philosophical question, and they could enter their project into the ‘Young Philosopher Awards.’ They had been working on them over the past 6 months.

Much to our surprise, all of our projects were accepted as finalists, and seven out of fourteen philosophers attended the awards ceremony in University College Dublin (UCD). The event unfortunately clashed with sports day this year, but for future events we hope that everyone will be able to participate. 

After leaving Scoil Pól at 6 a.m. on May 15th, we arrived at O’Reilly Hall, UCD for the Young Philosophers Awards to witness a huge crowd. The place was immense. After proceeding through a large queue, we received ‘goodie bags’ with a timetable and snacks. Then we entered the convention room and the philosophers set up their projects at their allocated areas.

The judges come over to talk to us, with Ellen Cronin going first. I asked Ellen how she thought it went after the project. “I wasn’t that confident,” Ellen said, “I think it ended smoothly enough and I’m happy.” Next up, was Sean Joyce’s project on happiness. Sean said it went well, however, he was feeling a small bit sick afterwards. Thyannaha Coleman and Alicia O’Callaghan presented their project on gender equality. “It went grand, they asked what our project about,” Thyannaha said. Alicia told me she was;“Scared, petrified, but it wasn’t that bad in the end.” Uinsínn McCarthy was up next with a project on dreams and nightmares. He said; “It went good, they seemed genuinely interested.” Last but not least was Pádraig Brazil Carroll doing his on online friends. I asked him how it went and he said; “It went well, but they didn’t have any questions because I explained it well.” In all, the judges spent a full hour talking to our group about their projects, which shows how much everyone had to say about them. 

The day didn’t end there, and as lunch ended we all sat down in the seats right at the front of the assembly. Excitement rushed through the room as Dr. Katherine O’Donnell addressed the crowd, promising the arrival of Michael D. Higgins. Minutes passed and suddenly flashes sparked through the columns of projects as Mr. Higgins devoured the many philosophy projects. As he and his wife entered the room, screams and whoops projected out from the crowd. As they took their seats, the awards ceremony commenced.

Pádraig Brazil Carroll won runner up in the ‘Virtue Ethics’ category, bringing home a medal and the pride of the whole team. After the president gave his speech and announced the ‘Philosopher Of The Year,’ we gathered outside to get some fresh air after the successful day. Everybody was, and still are, immensely proud and we all hope for great success in the philosophical years that follow.

A Special Thanks To: Ms. Dillon (Philosophy Teacher) for making this happen, Ms. Walsh forthe support, and Mr O’Hara our principal for allowing us to travel without any cost.

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Pádraig with his medal in the ‘Virtue Ethics’ category

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Uinsinn McCarthy with his project on dreams and nightmares

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Pádraig Brazil Carroll with his project on online friends

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Sean Joyce with his project on happiness

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Thyannaha Coleman and Alicia O’Callaghan with their
project on gender equality in clothes and make-up

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Ellen Cronin with her project on food and memory

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President Higgins announcing the young philosopher of the year

Irish Young Philosopher Awards 2019

Last September a small group of students, together with Ms Dillon, set up the school’s first philosophy club. The aims of the club were to explore a range of philosophical questions proposed by the students, and to work on individual and group projects to enter in the Irish Young Philosopher Awards, taking place in UCD on May 15th.

We are thrilled that all seven of our entries have been accepted for the finals. What follows is a short article by Ellen Cronin (1B) on the group, their work and their projects:
“In philosophy, we have been thinking since day one about, well everything! From September to Christmas multiple topics came up for discussion, for example: capital punishment, what make art, art and music, music, the nature of freedom, time travel, time itself, the difference between dreams and nightmares, mythological creatures and much, much more. From these discussions, several of our members came up with ideas for projects for the Young Philosopher awards on the fifteenth of May, and we hoped that at least one of our fine philosophers would get through to the awards final.

There are a few projects we are entering this year into the competition. Uinsínn McCarthy (1B) is working on the difference between dreams and nightmares. Rian Keogh (1B) is doing a project on psychopaths. Alicia O Callaghan (1A) and Thyhanna Coleman (1B) are doing a project about gender stereotypes. Rodger Clery (4B) is doing a project on beauty. Pádraig Brazil Carroll (2A) is doing a project on artificial intelligence and friends. Sean Joyce (2C) is doing a project on happiness, and mine is on food and memory. As you can see, we have a diverse range of projects and are really hoping to represent the school in the Young Philosopher Awards.” Ellen Cronin (1B)

The projects take a range of forms, from posters, essays and PowerPoints to movies, video essays and podcasts, reflecting the creativity of the students involved. Most of their work and research has been done completely independently, and the level of commitment and dedication these students have shown is a huge credit to them, their families and the school.

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