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Winners of 2020 Trócaire Poetry Ireland Competition announced

Trócaire and Poetry Ireland are delighted to announce the winners of the 2020 poetry competition, which this year had the theme ‘Standing Her Ground’.

This year’s winner in the adult published category, Cliona O'Connell, reading at the 2019 awards event. Photo : Garry Walsh. This year’s winner in the adult published category, Cliona O'Connell, reading at the 2019 awards event. Photo : Garry Walsh.

The Trócaire and Poetry Ireland annual poetry competition uses the arts to raise awareness about global justice, ecological and equality issues.

Given that this has been such a difficult year, with schools closed since early March, we have been delighted with the volume and the quality of the response to this year’s theme.

The annual Poetry Competition is a wonderful example of the expression of global justice issues through poetry.

This year’s theme ‘Standing Her Ground’, used the extraordinary stories of Angela and Madris, two brave mothers from Honduras and Kenya who featured in Trócaire’s 2020 Lenten Campaign who are supporting their families by standing up for their right to earn a living on their own land.

These brave women are battling enormous odds, including threats like violence, intimidation and drought, to provide food for their children and to keep them in school.

It is heartening to see, even in these challenging times, how school children and adults alike can take a theme of injustice and turn it into inspiring poems that tell similar stories often with hopeful messages for the future.

With winners from nine separate counties overall, we are particularly aware of the effort it took all our schools category entries to participate this year and we would like to thank everyone for their continued interest and support for the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition.

The winners and runners-up are across six categories: adult published, adult unpublished, primary junior, primary senior, post-primary junior and post-primary senior.

ONLINE AWARDS EVENT ON CULTURE NIGHT

As a physical awards ceremony isn’t possible due to Covid-19 restrictions, we look forward to celebrating the winners of the competition with a streamed video event.

Where: Poetry Ireland’s YouTube channel

When: 6pm on Culture Night (Friday 18 September).

Thank you to the judges of this year’s competition:
Catherine Ann Cullen, Aidan Clifford and Joanne McGarry.

A booklet of the winning poems is due to be published in 2021.

Congratulations to all this year’s winners and runners-up, and thank you to everyone who entered.

Adult Published Category

Winner:   

‘Protest Song’ – Cliona O’Connell

Runners-up:

‘Well Water’ – Christine Broe

‘Arenaria Ciliata’  – Marie Whelton

‘The Kiss and the Betrayal’  – Margaret McCarthy

Christine Broe is one of the Runners Up in the Adult Published Category again this year. Here she is pictured with the 2019 competition booklet ‘Land is Life’ in which she was winner in the 'Adult Published' category. Christine Broe is one of the Runners Up in the Adult Published Category again this year. Here she is pictured with the 2019 competition booklet ‘Land is Life’ in which she was winner in the 'Adult Published' category.

Adult Unpublished Category

Winner:   
‘Declaration Winner’  – Marie Studer

Runners-up:
‘Everything beautiful is cruel’   – Michael Ray
‘Women Sing at the Court of Justice’  – Christine Park
‘Amal’  – Priscilla Cassar

Primary Junior Category 

Winner

‘She’s Standing her Ground’ – Ruairí Heeney

Runners-up:
‘She Stood Tall’  – Eibhlín Milmoe O’Reilly
‘Too much to ask’ – Liam York

Primary Senior Category 

Winner:   
‘Gaia’s Stand’  – Rosie Penn-Chester

Runners-up:
‘Dear Mrs Sheey Skeffington’  – Iseult McGovern

‘The Girl’  – Veronika Fitzsimons

Post-Primary Junior Category 

Winner:   

‘Suo Tempore’  – Sineád O’Reilly

Runners-up:
‘Seas do Thalamh’ – Lucy Dillon
‘No More’  – Siobhan Fitzgerald

Sineád O’Reilly with her proud father Senan at last year’s awards event. This year, Sineád was winner in the Post Primary Junior category. Photo : Garry Walsh Sineád O’Reilly with her proud father Senan at last year’s awards event. This year, Sineád was winner in the Post Primary Junior category. Photo : Garry Walsh

Post-Primary Senior Category  

Winner:   

‘Home Comforts’  – Liam Hannigan

Runners-up:

‘The Lighthouse’  – Hannah Nic Eindrí

‘Wolves’  – Rachel Durcan

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