Tralee Students Win National Poetry Aloud Competition Awards

Posted by


Palesa Hlongnane, from Presentation Tralee receiving her Junior category award in the Poetry Aloud awards.

STUDENTS from secondary schools in Tralee won two of the three categories in the annual Poetry Aloud competition out of 1,700 entries from 143 schools all over Ireland. And one of the Tralee students was also declared Overall Winner.

Organised by the National Library of Ireland (NLI) and Poetry Ireland, in partnership with UCC, the winners were announced at the national final of the competition, held at the National Library of Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin.

Majella Votta from Mercy Mounthawk was declared the Overall Winner and she also won the Senior Category, while Presentation Secondary School Tralee student, Palesa Hlongnane, won the Junior Category.

Continued below…


Majella Votta of Mercy Mounthawk who won the Overall Award and the Senior category.

Majella was awarded the Seamus Heaney Poetry Aloud Award. The perpetual trophy is designed by Meath-based sculptor Fiona Smith-Darragh. She also received an additional €300.  Each winning school receives €300 in book tokens for the school library.

Poetry Aloud is an annual poetry speaking competition for post-primary school students across the island of Ireland.

The prescribed poems for this year were ‘May’ by Kerry Hardie (junior); ‘Bogland’ by Seamus Heaney (intermediate) and ‘The Rain Stick’ by Seamus Heaney (senior).   The late Seamus Heaney was a significant supporter of the competition.

Speaking at the final, Bríd O’Sullivan of the NLI’s Learning and Outreach Department said: “Poetry Aloud aims to celebrate the art of poetry speaking and to nurture the talented second-level students who practice it. The competition has been a highlight in the National Library of Ireland calendar for more than a decade.

“The volume and quality of the entrants continues to surpass expectations. We travelled the length and breadth of the county for regional heats in 2018, and are delighted to welcome all successful participants here to the NLI for the final. We congratulate them all on this remarkable achievement.”

The Poetry Aloud competition comprises three stages: the regionals; the semi-finals; and the final. A national winner is chosen from each category by a panel of esteemed judges.

Comments are closed.