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The winners and runners-up are across six categories: adult published, adult unpublished, primary junior, primary senior, post-primary junior and post-primary senior.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

‘Protest Song’   
Cliona O’Connell  

‘Well Water’   
Christine Broe   

‘Arenaria Ciliata’   
Marie Whelton   

‘The Kiss and the Betrayal’   
Margaret McCarthy  

Adult Unpublished Category 

Marie Studer  

‘Everything beautiful is cruel’   
Michael Ray  

‘Women Sing at the Court of Justice’   
Christine Park  

Priscilla Cassar  

Primary Junior Category   

‘She’s Standing her Ground’   
Ruairí Heeney  

‘She Stood Tall’   
Éibhín Milmoe O’Reilly  

‘Too much to ask’   
Liam York  

Primary Senior Category   

‘Gaia’s Stand’   
Rosie Penn-Chester    

‘Dear Mrs Sheey Skeffington’   
Iseult McGovern  

‘The Girl’   
Veronika Fitzsimons  

Post-Primary Junior Category   

‘Suo Tempore’   
Sineád O’Reilly   

‘Seas do Thalamh’   
Lucy Dillon    

‘No More’   
Siobhan Fitzgerald  

Post-Primary Senior Category    

‘Home Comforts’   
Liam Hannigan 

‘The Lighthouse’   
Hannah Nic Eindrí 

Rachel Durcan