The winners of the 2011 Credit Union All Ireland Art Competition descended on Dublin’s Gresham Hotel on Sunday February 12th to collect their category prizes at the final of the All Ireland Credit Union Art Competition final. Each entrant was awarded their certificate and cash prize by TV personality Marty Whelan and each artistic creation was put on display for the day at the hotel.

The 2011 competition attracted a record number of entries, over 32,000 and was run through a network of over 494 credit unions located throughout the island of Ireland. The competition has been running in communities across the country for 28 years.

The former poster competition has this year changed to an ‘art’ competition to encourage wider participation across the 32 counties but also to allow for greater artistic freedom and expression. The theme of this year’s revamped competition is ‘Ireland through my Eyes’ which is open to interpretation by each entrant.

There were two categories – GENERAL and SPECIAL – with five age groups in each.

GENERAL Category

  • 7 years and under – (Winner = Lee Murtagh, Parish of Darver , Co Louth)
  • 8-10 years – (Winner = Emilia Sirina, Mallow, Co Cork)
  • 11-13 years – (Winner = Alisha Kirwan, Gorey, Co Wexford)
  • 14-17 years – (Winner= Sarah Prendergast, Tralee, Co Kerry)
  • 18 years and over (Winner = Harry Guinane, Ennis, Co Clare)

SPECIAL Category.

The SPECIAL Category encouraged participants with a physical or intellectual disability to submit entries in free expression without the restriction of the competition’s official theme, if they so wished.

  • 7 years and under – (Winner = Tadgh Costello, Co Kerry)
  • 8-10 years – (Winner = Jason Thornton, Blackrock, Co Dublin)
  • 11-13 years – (Winner = Catherine Dougan, Portadown, Co Armagh)
  • 14-17 years – (Winner = Jemma McKiernan, Co Antrim)
  • 18 years and over (Winner = John McCready, Co Derry)
  • Group – (Winners = Class 4, St Mary’s Special School, Togher, Co Cork)

Speaking at the prize giving, Jimmy Johnstone, President of the Irish League of Credit Unions said: “The main aim of this competition is to encourage interest in creativity and art. The huge volume of entries we receive year on year is the reason why we continue to run our annual, All-Ireland competition now in its 28th year. It is one of our flagship events and we are delighted to see the variety, flair and creativity of the young people of Ireland who enter the competition on an annual basis. The competition has been going from strength to strength and we are determined to continue supporting budding artists into the future”.