Five Donegal literary winners were among those whose names were prestigiously announced in Croke Park on Tuesday last. TG4’s Beirní Ní Chuinn was present to announce the winners of Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary Competitions. Prizes were awarded to both established and aspiring writers in the Irish language at the ceremony at which Minister for State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr Dinny McGinley, TD was present.
The five Donegal writers were among the winners were Caitlín Uí Mhaolagáin from Letterkenny for her essay “Innealtóireacht I dtodhchaí na hÉireann”; Lauren Ní Bhaoill from Toraigh for her story “Coiméadaí Uimhir a hOcht”; Seán Mac Gearailt from Falcarragh for his story “Misneach”; Tara Ní Choille from Letterkenny for her poem “I súile na gCarria”; Shane Mac Grianna from Letterkenny for his poem “Rann na Feirsde”.
The annual Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary Competitions are the most renowned of the year for Irish language writers. All aspects of Irish language literature are included with over 15 categories including fiction, short stories, song writing and journalism. Amongst the winners this year was Maidhc Dainín Ó Sé who won a prize for the best fiction novel, Colm Ó Ceallacháin came first in the best new writer category and Alex Hijmans from the Netherlands scooped first place in the prose category. Joe Steve Ó Neachtain won first prize in the short story category. Aodh Ó Domhnaill is continuing his winning streak taking away two prizes for his dramas ‘Duairceán’ and ‘Dúnmharú’ this year; bringing his total number of Oireachtas Literary awards to eight. Anna Heussaff won an award for her latest novel, Hóng – she has won an Oireachtas Literary award for each of her novels to date.
Young writers from around the country were also present at the awards ceremony to accept prizes in the young people’s categories including short stories and journalism.
“The Oireachtas Literary Competitions provide great inspiration for Irish language writers of all ages to showcase their talent and creativity” says Liam Ó Maolaodha, Director of Oireachtas na Gaeilge. “With several hundred entrants competing for the 15 categories of prizes to be won this year, we believe that fostering such talent is essential to the growth and future of Irish language writing.”
The Oireachtas na Gaeilge Literary Competitions, in their 115th year, are the most prestigious Irish language literary competitions in the country. Previous winners include some of Ireland’s most celebrated authors including Pádraig Mac Piarais, Máirtín Ó Cadhain and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.