Schools Awards in Strokestown

As part of Poetry Town Strokestown, 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 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 - Strokestown

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

  • Sarah Dixon (St. Mary’s Primary School - 5th/6th class category) with her poem 'Nadnaveigh'
  • Malachy Glover (St. Patrick’s Boys National School - 5th/6th class category) with his poem 'A Bicycle View of Strokestown'

Nadnaveigh - Sarah Dixon

Nadnaviegh is where I live, 
Beside my Nana and Grandad, 
Down the road and up the hill 
Surrounded by the fields of Nad. 

I help my Dad at the weekends  
With jobs around the farm, 
Weighing, moving and dosing cattle 
So they don’t come to any harm.  

The population in Nad is very small, 
Ten people there are altogether, 
You can walk the road or call for a chat 
No matter the type of weather. 

There once was a manor house on this land, 
But now only bricks remain, 
Outside our kitchen window on the ground, 
That’s how this land got its name. 

“The nest of the swallows,” is how it translates 
There are many old trees still here, 
With the swooshing of wings, and the chirping sounds, 
You know the swallows are near. 

I love living here, up on the hill, 
Looking out at the fields and sky, 
Running and cycling, exploring and farming, 
And watching the world go by. 

A Bicycle View of Strokestown - Malachy Glover

As I come up to the top of the road pushing hard on my bike 
I stop to look around at a wonderful sight. 
There is Strokestown Parkhouse standing tall 
Casting shadows across gardens and walls. 
Strokestown is busy, busy as can be, 
I see a flock of birds sitting on a tree. 
I manage to cross the road and hop back on my bike 
I spot the courthouse two stories high 
And imagine the judge who years ago 
Decided who could live and who would die. 
Around the boreen I go and there it is  
A playground full of children and new houses where many families live. 
I cycle up to the boys’ school and remember with fear 
How it was once called The Brothers and they pulled your ear. 
On to the graveyard I go and stop to say a prayer 
For Nana Ethna and Jane and all who lie there. 
I head back down Elphin Street with the wind on my back 
Stopping at Spar to grab a quick snack. 
Into the Parkhouse I now go, full of squirrels, bees and the finest of trees 
Today they are making new stories and memories for the people of the town 
You can do Parkrun on a Saturday morning 
Or take a walk around its grounds. 


Schools Workshops

Popular and award winning local poet Mary Melvin Geoghegan led a workshop for the Transition Year students of Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, Strokestown. The workshop followed a theme of A Sense of Place. 

She is also leading a workshop for the senior classes of Clooncagh Primary School. 

Mary has five collections of poetry published to date.