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2014/15 Essay Competition - Awards Ceremony

Awards Cermony

Lorna Horgan, Regional Writing Centre Cooperative Administrative Assistant, Fiona Farr, Dean, Teaching and Learning, Connacht Provincial Winner Sarah Burke, Catherine Martin, Regional Writing Centre, Prof Don Barry, UL President, Overall Winner Fergus McCormack, Íde O'Sullivan, Regional Writing Centre, Munster Provincial Winner Kerry O'Sullivan, Ulster Provincial Winner Rebecca Hanratty and Maura Murphy, Manager, Centre for Teaching and Learning

Over 260 secondary school students from across all four provinces of Ireland took part in the fourth annual National Secondary School Essay-writing Competition organised by the Regional Writing Centre at the University of Limerick. Students in Transition, 5th and 6th year were invited to take a decisive stance on the following statement and respond with reference to the role young people play in Irish society:

Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education, and has shown by example that children and young people too, can contribute to improving their own situations. Nobel Committee

The UL President, Professor Don Barry, presented prizes to the winning student writers at an awards ceremony held at the University campus on Tuesday 19th May. The competition forms an important component of UL’s commitment to engage with prospective students in the post-primary sector to promote the development of good writing. In his address, Professor Barry stated that ‘now more than ever, it is essential that students express themselves in a clear, professional and contextually responsive manner’. This is of particular importance for our graduates heading into the workplace where ‘employers now list effective communication and writing skills among the most desirable competencies for prospective employees’.

The overall winner of the competition was Fergus McCormack of Belvedere College, Dublin who was presented with an iPad mini. Winners from the remaining provinces were: from Connaught ‒Sarah Burke of Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Crossmolina, Co Mayo;  from Munster ‒ Kerry O’Sullivan of Coláiste na Sceilge, Cahersiveen, Co Kerry and from Ulster ‒ Rebecca Hanratty of Castleblayney College, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan. Each provincial winner received a €200 voucher. The winning essays stood out in terms of the proficiency in writing and the creativity the writers used in building a clear, coherent and convincingly argued case in support of the stance taken in response to the prompt.