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Poetry competition winners 2014

By Trish Groves, Campaigns Officer

The world has changed since Trócaire was set up in 1973. Back then, there was no such thing as the internet, or smartphones, and when you wanted to find out what was happening in the world, you had to listen to the radio, watch the news on television, or buy a newspaper. But some things haven’t changed, like Trócaire’s commitment to challenge the causes of poverty, and encourage people to use their voices to speak out against injustice.

Nowadays, everything seems to be speeding up, including the damage to our environment. When you look deeply enough, into the rising waters and out at the expanding deserts, you see that behind all the changes, it is what we are doing as people, that makes the most difference. This was the inspiration behind this year’s ‘It’s Up To Us’ poetry competition, challenging every one of us to live more sustainably on our planet. 

As usual, poets around the country deconstructed the theme, explored it from every angle, and created poetry of amazing depth and complexity. We had hundreds of entries from across the island of Ireland and it took our judges, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, Mary Shine Thompson and Trish Groves, hours of debate and discussion to reach a consensus.

Trócaire has been supporting Poetry Ireland’s work for many years, and our joint poetry competition is unique because we invite entries from all ages and abilities, from primary schools to published poets. It is free to enter, so everyone has an equal chance to participate. Access and equality are central to all of Trócaire’s work, and it’s what we mean when we talk about our values, like solidarity and participation.

In the booklet of winning poems, which you can download for free you will find new work from poets of all ages, some deeply moving and others light and quirky, but all demonstrating a love of language, and a commitment to be creative in how we tackle the world’s problems. We hope you enjoy reading them. Limited hard copies are available, and if you would like one, please e-mail us with your postal address to [email protected].

trocaire poetry competition winners

To the winning poets (pictured) congratulations from everyone in Trócaire and Poetry Ireland. Photo: Alan Whelan

List of winners:

Published Poets:

1st: Valley of the Birches by Mary Turley McGrath 
Runner-up: Thinking outside the socks by Afric  McGlinchey 
Runner –up: Tubrid by Karen O’Connor
Runner-up: The Walnut Dresser by Wilma Kenny 
Non-Published Poets:
1st: Storm by Jane Clarke 
Runner-up: Touchscreen by Philomena Gallen 
Runner-up: The Glaciers by Anthony Hegarty 
Post-Primary Senior:
1st: The Anarchist by Emma Tobin 
Runner-up: To The Point by Mariana Byrne 
Runner-up: Time by Eden Healey
Post-Primary Junior:
1st Perceptions by Denis Holton 
Runner-up: Time to Change by Michelle McCormack
Runner-up: Famine Relief by Seán de Grá
Runner-up: Water by Jade Nolan
Primary Senior:
1st: Green World by Conor Clarke
Runner-up: Make a Change by Flora McDonnell
Runner-up: A Voice of his own by Katie Hennessy 
Runner-up: Just One Wish by Saoirse O’Connor
Primary Junior:
Global Glowing by Aoibhin Holmes

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