News Stories

Members: 17 February 2017

The Niall McCarthy Debate 2017

This years Niall McCarthy debate was won by Maria Brosnan, BL student at King’s Inns, who had to defend the proposition that ‘President Trump will make America great again`. Maria gave a storming performance that included a promise to emulate President Trump by building a Great Wall to defend the borders of her native County Kerry.

Who was Justice Niall McCarthy whose memory is commemorated in this annual competition?

Judge Niall McCarthy and his wife Barbara died tragically in a traffic accident in Spain in 1992. Judge McCarthy was an influential and idealistic Supreme Court judge, with an interest in international law. His judgments were clear, articulate and passionate in their sincerity.

King’s Inns remember this wonderful couple Niall and Barbara every year in a humorous annual debating contest at the Inns. We also remember them in the annual award of the McCarthy Bursary which funds a student’s study at the Inns and their early practice at the Bar. Judge Adrian Hardiman described Niall McCarthy as being a man of great personal kindness and huge forensic skill who, in his words rivalled many of our most famous benchers as a judge, “but as an advocate excelled them all”.