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The Power of Poetry – winners of the 2015 poetry competition

By Trish Groves, Campaigns Officer

2015 marks the fourth annual poetry competition run by Trócaire and Poetry Ireland. The winning poets received their prizes at the National Library of Ireland on Wednesday 28th May. 

Trocaire Poetry Ireland 2015 winners
Top: 2015 poetry winners on stage at the National Library of Ireland, Bottom: Eight-year-old poet Elise Carey McGibney 

Words are powerful tools for change … they make up our languages, our laws, our school books, our stories. Trócaire uses the power of the written word, and the voices of campaigners here in Ireland, to persuade our politicians to make the laws more fair; to lobby the EU, the UN and other international bodies; and to share stories of success and change from Africa, Asia and Latin America, with people here in Ireland.

In 2013, an eleven year old boy called Pádraig Power from Tipperary wrote a poem called ‘Heavy Load’, inspired by a Trócaire story about how millions young girls have to carry water for their families every day, and how, by comparison, his schoolbag suddenly felt light. He entered his poem in the Trócaire / Poetry Ireland poetry competition, and won first prize in his age group.

A few weeks later, to mark World Water Day, and World Poetry Day, we put his poem onto Facebook. Within twenty four hours the poem was ‘Liked’ over 15,000 times, and it went on to reach over 600,000 people. It spilled over onto Twitter, and even the children’s laureate complimented Padraig on his poem.

Heavy Load Padraig Power

Poets have the power to challenge ideas, to change the way that people think, and to make a mark on the world. Whether you’re ten years old, or a hundred and ten, as a poet you too have the power to change the world too. And if poetry isn’t your thing, sure why not have a look around Trócaire’s website now that you’re here, because there are many other ways to get involved and make the world a better place.

2015 Competition Judges

  • Theo Dorgan, poet, prose writer, editor and translator, and member of Aosdána 
  • Mary Shine Thompson, former Chair of Poetry Ireland and former Dean at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra (Dublin City University)
  • Trish Groves, Campaigns Officer at Trócaire

Winners in 2015:

Published Poets

  • 1st: Marking Time by Ann Joyce 
  • Runner-up: Buille na Trócaire by Dairena Ní Chinnéide 
  • Runner-up: Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by Afric McGlinchey

Non-Published Poets

  • 1st: Inuit by Maurice Devitt 
  • Runner-up: Warming by Michael Ray 
  • Runner-up: Rule the World 2015 by Therese Kieran 

Post-Primary Senior:

  • 1st: The Sins of the Children by Emma Tobin 
  • Runner-up: Fevered, Stumbling by Arianne Dunne 
  • Runner-up: An Tobar by Pádraic de Bhailis
  • Runner-up: Feeling the Heat by Owen O’Sullivan

Post-Primary Junior:

  • 1st: Feeling the Heat by Ruby Thomas 
  • Runner-up: Thirst by Bobina P. Bovachan
  • Runner-up: Sacraments of Shade by Niamh O’Farrell-Tyler
  • Runner-up: My Journey to a River by Souraya Abdoulaye

Primary Senior:

  • 1st: Feeling the Heat by Shémie Caomhánach
  • Runner-up: Environmental Change by Patrick Barrett

Primary Junior:

  • 1st: Devastation by Bronagh O’Meara
  • Runner-up: Our Mistake by Elise Carey-McGibney
  • Runner- up: Dead Earth by Dylan Doyle


View our booklet of the 2015 winning poems 


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