Following in the footsteps of other icons like Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Queen and Bon Jovi, representatives from 21 schools and centres came together at the beautiful Slane Castle to celebrate and receive awards in both the Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award and the Young Historian Awards.
The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award
The Francis Ledwidge Poetry Award is a new competition open to all students within the LMETB family. It was developed by CEO Mr Peter Kierans in celebration of our local poet, Francis Ledwidge. LMETB wished to introduce Ledwidge’s work to students in a fun and progressive way. Having worked closely with the Francis Ledwidge Society in Slane, they lent us their perpetual trophy to use as an overall prize. The competition and event was coordinated by Elma McMahon, Youth Officer for Louth and Meath Education and Training Board.
LMETB were in very distinguished company with Minister Damian English presenting the awards along with Chairperson Oliver Tully, Helen Mc Entee TD, Cllr Sharon Tolan and Rosemary Yore of the Francis Ledwidge Museum. Also in attendance were past Principals Donnacha MacRaghnaill ( Scoil ui Mhuiri), John Condon (Beaufort College) and retired Deputy Principal PJ Mc Caffery (Kells Vocational School)
The Ledwidge Poetry Award gives our young people opportunities to write and to share their own work and we were proud to have over 700 students participating’ said Elma McMahon.
Slane Castle was chosen as a venue not only for geographical reasons but because Francis Ledwidge had worked there as a boy. When we approached Lord Henry Mount Charles, his son Alex was very positive in his response saying ‘I am in favour of supporting education in general and have a fondness for Francis Ledwidge and so admire the two initiatives that you mention’. He and his staff worked closely with LMETB to ensure that the day was one the students and staff would never forget.
On the day students from Scoil Ui Mhuiri Dunleer, Beaufort College Navan, Dunshaughlin Community College, O’Fiaich College Dundalk, St Oliver Post Primary Oldcastle, O’Carolan College Nobber, St Oliver’s Community College Drogheda, Youthreach Bettystown Laytown , Youthreach Hiway Progression Navan, Ard Ri Community National School Navan , Centre for European Schooling Dunshaughlin, Coláiste Lú Dún Dealgan, Coláiste na hInse Bettystown, Coláiste Chú Chulainn Dundalk, Coláiste na Mi Navan, Colaiste De Lacy Ashbourne and St Fintina’s Post Prmary Longwood all collected over 80 awards.
The Overall Awards were Awarded to the Following Students:
- Victoria Mc Elearney ~ Coláiste De Lacy – Best Irish Poem
- Luke Graham ~ Ard Ri Community National School – Best Primary School Poem
- Onora Finn ~ Coláiste De Lacy – Best Overall Poem
- Dina Winkler ~ Dunshaughlin Community School / Centre for European Schooling – Best International Poem
- Laura Cunningham ~ Youthreach Hiway Progression Navan – Best Senior Poem
- Katerina Mc Cabe – Coláiste Chú Chulainn – Best First Year