The award ceremony for this year’s Trocaire and Poetry Ireland poetry competition took place today in the National Library of Ireland. The theme for this year’s competition was Forced to Flee: “This is our exodus”. The theme was chosen because of the great human tragedy which continues to unfold in Syria and in the wider Middle East. Over 250,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict, 12 million are homeless and more than 4 million of them are refugees, mostly in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. A river of distressed humanity flows into the heart of Europe from this conflict.
Trócaire said that while the overwhelming European response is to welcome these people, there is also a realisation that something important and irreversible in taking place before our eyes. It is the strong sense that we can no longer isolate ourselves in our secure and wealthy fortress Europe from the rest of a humanity suffering poverty, war and injustice. “This is our exodus” is a quote from Ahmed, a refugee from Iraq, 2015.
The Trócaire and Poetry Ireland competition was open to young people and adults alike, at all stages in their writing careers. Poems in English or Irish, written or spoken word, were welcomed in all six categories.
And the winners are:
Adult Published Poets
Cast Away by Nicki Griffin
Nature’s Refuge by Afric McGlinchey
The Mountain of Butterflies by Angela T. Carr
Adult Non-Published Poets
Unto Me is the Journeying by Mairéad Donnellan
Moments of Snow by David Keane
Slí Amach by Mháirín Uí Cheallaigh
Power by Louise O’Hora
Wastelands by Kate Ní Dhubhchonna 15
Drifting by Romy Fehily
On a Road Going Nowhere by Aoife Ní Riain
The Promised Land by Michael Lucey
No Room at the Inn? by Patrick Barrett
The Things They Left Behind by Molly McGibney
Who Am I? by Gearóid Cronin
This is Our Journey Through the Night by John Dunne
Empty Streets by Ciara McCrum
The Journey by Elise Carey-McGibney
All of the winning entries in this year’s Trocaire & Poetry Ireland competition ‘Forced to Flee’ are now available to read in a new poetry booklet, which includes photography by Trócaire’s Meabh Smith.
Read the winning entries here