Schools Awards in Cootehill

As part of Poetry Town Cootehill, Schools Awards took place, with primary and secondary school students invited to submit poems in six different categories. They could write a poem about their town, a local place, or a person from the area.  

Schools in the town were contacted with details of how the Awards work. Entries opened on 3 September and closed at midnight on 30 September.  

About the Awards 

Awards entries were judged anonymously. An independent adjudicator was appointed for each town who shortlisted the submissions, and Poetry Ireland made the final decisions on the awards. 

Full information, including details of the categories, can be found on the Rules and Conditions of Entry PDF

Winners - Cootehill

We're delighted to announce the winners in the Cootehill Poetry Town School Awards:

  • Jack Birney Laws (Darly National School Cootehill - 5th/6th class category) with his poem 'Silage Season'
  • Clara Crosson (Dernakesh National School Cootehill - 5th/6th class category) with her poem 'The Drive Home'
  • Alice Ward (Dernakesh National School Cootehill - 3rd/4th class) with her poem 'Cootehill at Night'
  • Heidi May Markey (Dernakesh National School Cootehill - Infants/1st/2nd class category) with her poem 'Fun on Daddy’s Farm'

The Silage Season - Jack Birney Laws

The orange beacons rotating 
Drawing bales all night through Cootehill Town 
The same too with a straight pipe and a single bale lifter 
I think I am going half deaf with the snort of it. 
The McCormick 150 with a double bale lifter and  
There is one field left before the night 
I went into Londis to get a roll  
first before the shop closed at 11 o’clock 
All the bales are done until tomorrow. 

The Drive Home - Clara Crosson

I lay curled up in the corner, 
Afraid alone and trembling 
With fear and my tail tucked in my leg 
I’d been left again. 

The space smelt of 
Some other dog 
I could hear the  
People in the space 
ahead of me 
Making noise. 

It was very bumpy  
And I kept slipping and 
sliding around 

Suddenly everything  
stopped moving  
and one of the walls  
opened up 

Cootehill at Night  - Alice Ward

When children get tucked up in their cosy beds 
Night has fallen, go to sleep! 
The dog lies down and drifts to sleep, 
The town is fast asleep. 
Cootehill will be open tomorrow 
And the town will be filled with laughter. 
Children will be learning in school 
And when they come home they will play outside. 
But tonight is still, 
Hear and clear your mind, 
And go to sleep… 
Benches are empty and shops are asleep, 
And the moon comes out and the sun is asleep. 

Fun on Daddy’s Farm - Heidi May Markey

Sheep baa and horses neigh. The cows moo,  
while the farmer has tea. The hedgehog grunts  
and the chickens cluck while the pigs roll round 
In the muck. The sly old fox is hiding in the  
burrow below keeping out of sight until the nights  
glow. The goats in the garden eating the shrub   
while the old black dog baths in the tub. Its fun 
on our farm each and every day when  
all the animals go out to play.