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The University of Limerick Regional Writing Centre is holding its twelfth annual National Secondary School Essay-writing Competition for Transition- and 5th-year students. Apply to judge the submissions here!

The competition will require that students take a decisive stance on the following prompt, which is to be explored in an essay of 800-1,000 words: 


The murder of Ashling Murphy in January 2022 elicited a nationwide debate about the culture of violence against women in Ireland. Dr Monica O’Connor, UCD, maintains that although there have been major strides towards ending the “legal impunity” of violence against women, wider societal and cultural change is taking much longer.

Why do you think wider societal and cultural change is taking longer? What needs to be done to prevent and eradicate this culture of violence against women?



The article referenced can be found here:

Ireland has a long way to go to ending the 'cultural impunity' of gender-based violence

Other relevant articles:

Exploring femicide and the broader issue of violence against women in Ireland

If we’re serious about ending violence against women, we need to talk about culture

I’m sick of living in a culture that tolerates violence against women

The primary purpose of our competition is to give students the opportunity to engage in a social debate through writing and to prepare them for argumentative writing at third level. In addition, the competition highlights the University of Limerick’s commitment to supporting the educational advancement of prospective students. The Regional Writing Centre is dedicated to helping students to develop strategies to become more confident, critical and autonomous writers, able to write persuasively in all contexts, whether academic or professional.

The deadline for receipt of entries for this competition is Friday, 24th February 2023 at 5:00pm. The winners will be announced Friday, 14th April 2023. The awards ceremony will be held in University of Limerick on Thursday, 18th May 2023.

Identification Sheet

Essay Writing Criteria

Essay Writing General Rules