Donegal winner of Trócaire-Poetry Ireland poetry competition 2020 announced

The 2020 theme uses the arts to raise awareness about global justice, ecological and equality issues

Donegal winner of Trócaire-Poetry Ireland poetry competition 2020 announced

Donegal student, Liam Hannigan, has been named among the winners

A Donegal student, Liam Hannigan, has been named among the winners of the 2020 Trócaire-Poetry Ireland poetry competition.

The Trócaire and Poetry Ireland annual competition, which this year had the theme ‘Standing Her Ground’, 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, the organisers were delighted with the volume and the quality of the response to this year’s theme.

Rathmullan native Liam Hannigan, a 17-year-old pupil at Coláiste Ailigh, was successful with his entry, 'Home Comforts', which was named the winner in the Post-Primary Senior Category (TY to Leaving Cert).

Liam, who participated in the Yale Young Global Scholars programme, also demonstrated his versatility by submitting an Irish language poem, "Máithreacha Láidir".

Joanne McGarry, Trócaire's campaigns manager, said: “The ‘Standing Her Ground’ theme focused on the extraordinary stories of Angela and Madris – two brave mothers from Honduras and Kenya, who featured in Trócaire’s 2020 Lenten Campaign.

“We asked entrants to consider how these brave women are supporting their families by standing up for their right to earn a living on their own land. They are battling enormous odds – and the threat of 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 and runners-up from nine separate counties overall, Trócaire and Poetry Ireland expressed their appreciation for the effort it took all entrants and schools to participate this year.

“We would like to thank everyone for their continued interest and support for the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition. Congratulations to all the winners and runners-up, and thank you to everyone who entered,” added Trócaire’s Joanne, who was one of three judges along with Catherine Ann Cullen and Aidan Clifford.

The winners and runners-up are across six categories: adult published, adult unpublished, primary junior, primary senior, post-primary junior and post-primary senior.

As a physical awards ceremony is not possible due to Covid-19 restrictions, Trócaire and Poetry Ireland will celebrate the winners of the competition with a streamed video event later this week, while a booklet of the winning poems is due to be published in 2021.

The event will be streamed on Poetry Ireland’s YouTube channel on Culture Night  this coming Friday, September 18 at 6pm.

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