WIT Agricultural and Food Science students travelled to UCD to debate in favour of the motion, “Brexit will be good for the Irish Agri-food industry”
Six Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) students from the Department of Science in the School of Science & Computing travelled to University College Dublin (UCD) to take part in a debate on the topic “Brexit will be good for the Irish Agri-food industry”.
The students were in competition with students from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science with the moot taking place in the Garret Fitzgerald debating chamber.
The BSc (Hons) Agricultural Science speakers from WIT included team captain William Delaney, Eva Hayes, Shane Burns and Eilish Lawlor. Accompanying the speakers were alternative researchers Simon Delaney and Denise Ryan.
WIT captain William Delaney said about the topic up for debate, “Ireland and the UK joined the EU the same year, and the British rely on our quality exports so the strong relationship will prevail. In addition, Brexit will increase the impetus for engagement with other nations both within the EU and outside, such as the US and China. These are lucrative markets, which perhaps we have neglected because of our over-reliance on the UK.”
Debating the motion
Following on from their debating experience, team member Eva Hayes said, “The Great Agri-Food Debate has afforded me the opportunity to represent WIT and to showcase our talents and innovative knowledge to leading businesses in Ireland.”
The WIT team debated in favour of the motion and lost out to UCD after the judging panel, which was made up of Chief Executive of Dawn Meats Niall Browne, CEO of Bord Bia Tara McCarthy and Managing Director of McDonald’s Ireland Adrian Crean, voted in favour of UCD.
High calibre of students
CEO of Dawn Meats Niall Browne commented on the debate, saying, “The quality and delivery of the arguments is what we have come to expect from these high calibre WIT and UCD students. Their message that while Brexit represents a very significant challenge and that active management is the only sensible approach, the Irish Agri-food industry’s cohesiveness, strength, innovation and sustainability credentials means it has a strong platform to take on this challenge and identify opportunities that may emerge during the process.”
The debate was sponsored by Dawn Meats and moderated by Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, Justin McCarthy.