Winners of Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition 2020 announced

27th August 2020

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

The winners and runners-up are across six categories: adult published, adult unpublished, primary junior, primary senior, post-primary junior and post-primary senior. 

Jane O’Hanlon from Poetry Ireland said, “Given that this 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.  

“There was a particularly large entry in both adult categories this year and we are delighted to see that last year’s runner-up Cliona O’Connell is this year’s winner in the adult published category and, in a neat alignment, Christine Broe, last year’s winner is a runner-up in 2020. The post-primary junior category was won by Sineád O’Reilly, a previous winner and runner-up.  

“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 of the Trócaire Poetry Ireland Poetry Competition.” 

The annual poetry competition uses the arts to raise awareness about current global citizenship, justice, ecological and equality issues. This year, the entry period was extended into summer due to Covid-19.

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. This will take place on Poetry Ireland’s YouTube channel at 6pm on Culture Night (Friday 18 September).

Update - you can watch back the event here.

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

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

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

(Pictured above are some of this year's winners and runners-up: Marie Studer, Christine Broe, Michael Ray and Cliona O'Connell)
 

Adult Published Category   

WINNER:     
‘Protest Song’   
Cliona O’Connell  

RUNNER-UP:  
‘Well Water’   
Christine Broe   

RUNNER-UP:  
‘Arenaria Ciliata’   
Marie Whelton   

RUNNER-UP:  
‘The Kiss and the Betrayal’   
Margaret McCarthy  
 

Adult Unpublished Category 

WINNER:             
‘Declaration’  
Marie Studer  

RUNNER-UP:       
‘Everything beautiful is cruel’   
Michael Ray  

RUNNER-UP:       
‘Women Sing at the Court of Justice’   
Christine Park  

RUNNER-UP:       
‘Amal’   
Priscilla Cassar  
 

Primary Junior Category   

WINNER:               
‘She’s Standing her Ground’   
Ruairí Heeney  

RUNNER-UP:        
‘She Stood Tall’   
Éibhín Milmoe O’Reilly  

RUNNER-UP:        
‘Too much to ask’   
Liam York  


Primary Senior Category   

WINNER:             
‘Gaia’s Stand’   
Rosie Penn-Chester    

RUNNER-UP:       
‘Dear Mrs Sheey Skeffington’   
Iseult McGovern  

RUNNER-UP:        
‘The Girl’   
Veronika Fitzsimons  


Post-Primary Junior Category   

WINNER:              
‘Suo Tempore’   
Sineád O’Reilly   

RUNNER-UP:         
‘Seas do Thalamh’   
Lucy Dillon    

RUNNER-UP:        
‘No More’   
Siobhan Fitzgerald  
 

Post-Primary Senior Category    

WINNER:             
‘Home Comforts’   
Liam Hannigan 

RUNNER-UP:       
‘The Lighthouse’   
Hannah Nic Eindrí 

RUNNER-UP:       
‘Wolves’   
Rachel Durcan