Winners of University of Limerick essay competition proved they have the ‘write’ stuff

Lawrence Cleary, Director of the Regional Writing Centre, Overall Winner Annabel Bogue, Dr Ronni M. Greenwood, Runner Up Sophie Maher, and Molly McNamara. Photo: Arthur Ellis.

THE THEMES of emigration and the role of young people in building a sustainable future in Ireland were eloquently debated in a series of award-winning essays at University of Limerick last week.

Senior cycle students from secondary schools around the country impressed judges last Thursday (May 23) with their submissions to the UL Regional Writing Centre’s National Secondary School Essay-writing Competition, with three students claiming prizes at a special award ceremony held on UL’s Castletroy campus.

Now in its 13th year, the annual competition gives transition and fifth year students the opportunity to write persuasively on social issues that are relevant to them, in preparation for the argumentative writing they will perform later at third level.

This year’s entrants were asked to write an essay of response to Labour Party leader Ivana Bacik’s statement that “Ireland feels like no country for young people”.

Deputy Bacik’s comment followed the revelation by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) that seven in 10 young people across the country are “considering emigration for a better quality of life than in Ireland”.

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The winning submission came from Annabel Bogue, who wrote about the role of young people in building a sustainable future in her essay ‘Empowering Ireland’s Future’.

Prizes were also presented to Sophie Maher for her essay ‘Driven Away’, and Ornait O’Donoghue for her essay ‘Ireland Feels Like No Country for Young People’.