Schools Poetry Competition 2014

100 Objects Schools Poetry Competition 2014

National Museum of Ireland – Country Life.

This year the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life invited primary and post primary students to write a poem inspired by the ‘History of Ireland in 100 Objects’ a collaboration between the National Museum of Ireland, The Irish Times and the Royal Irish Academy.

‘I think the competition is a great idea because it draws young people into the Museum and then asks them to engage with the objects in a creative and imaginative way. This builds on the excellent work that the Museum is doing in terms of handling boxes and encouraging interaction with the objects on display at its four sites.’ Jane O’Hanlon Poetry Ireland

The judges Maeve McNicholas, National Museum of Ireland – Country Life and Jane O’Halloran, Education Officer, Poetry Ireland had the challenge of selecting the winning entries. They were very impressed with the high standard of writing and concluded that students brought the objects to life through their poems.

We are delighted to announce the winning entries. Click on the links to view the poems.

Primary Category:

1st prize:The Ballinderry Sword by Emma Pender

You are no normal sword,

we don't just battle with you,

we honour you,

you are the Ballinderry Sword.

You are no normal sword,

you are decorated with Celtic designs,

It didn't matter what they wore,

you leveled them from on high.

You are no normal sword,

for only high ranked Vikings owned you,

+Ulfberht+ was engraved on you,

You always look brand new.

You are no normal sword,

Your blade was 6cm wide and 79cm long,

You were made from carbon steel,

and your grip was 15cm long.

You are no normal sword,

You have two guards,

and you have a 7-lobed pommel,

you sure could leave scars.

You are no normal sword,

silver was inlaid in parts of you,

and steel wire ran through your pommel lobes,

you had an engraving of rabbit ears too.

You are no normal sword,

You weigh 1.3kg,

and you are well balanced,

You are something I'd like to see!

6th Class, Scoil Ide, Salthill, Galway. Teacher Miss Hynes.

Ballinderry sword, mid-ninth century

Object No. 36 Ballinderry sword, mid-ninth century, National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology.

2nd Prize:The Wicker Cradle by Saoirse ExtonLinks to external website, 3rd class, Milford National School, Limerick.

3rd Prize:Titanic Launch Ticket by Ailbhe MurphyLinks to external website, 6th class, Scoil Ide, Galway.


Far from Home by Ciara HurstLinks to external website, Rang 6, Corclough National School, Mayo.

Emigrant's Suitcase by Billy O'ConnorLinks to external website, Rang 5, Corclough National School, Mayo.

Emigrant’s suitcase, 1950s

The Book of Kells by Lucy MartinLinks to external website, 6th class, Scoil Ide, Galway.

Post-primary Category

1st Prize: Internal Hanging by Alannah B.

Hanging Gracefully,

On her neck, tormenting her,

Decorated noose.

2nd Year, Kilkenny College, Kilkenny.

Youghal lace collar, 1906

Object No. 86. Youghal lace collar, 1906, National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts & History.

Joint 2nd Prize:The Gun by Gabriel SethLinks to external website, 2nd year, Villiers School, Limerick.

Joint 2nd Prize:Empty Cooking Pot by Jenny CoxLinks to external website, 5th year, St. Louis Community School, Mayo.

Empty cooking pot, nineteenth century

3rd Prize:Ripple Effect by Gráinne DeasyLinks to external website, Mount St. Michael's Secondary School, Cork.


James Connolly's Shirt by Kelly HannickLinks to external website, 1st year, Gortnor Abbey, Mayo.

Doors by Eoin HillLinks to external website, 3rd year, Holy Family Community School, Dublin.

Corleck Head by Cara NissenLinks to external website, 2nd year, Kilkenny College, Kilkenny.

View the winning entries and all poems submittedLinks to external website. Find out more about The History of Ireland in 100 Objects.

Poetry Ireland Website

Poetry Ireland LogoLinks to external website
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