Family, friends and staff representing credit unions from all over Ireland joined Marty Whelan on Sunday 17th February to congratulate and recognise the outstanding talent on display at the annual Irish league of Credit Unions All Ireland art competition awards. The awards ceremony and exhibition took place at the Gresham Hotel, Dublin.

The competition now in its 28th year, attracts over 30,000 entries annually through over 487 credit unions across the island of Ireland. The thousands of hopefuls from around the country worked hard on their submissions throughout the winter months and the finalists were chosen from an incredible number and standard of entries.

The artists, who ranged in ages from 6 to 21 were asked to portray the theme ‘Celebrate Community Colour’ and did so with flair and creativity. The awards were presented by Jimmy Johnstone, President of the ILCU, alternative artist Kevin Largey from Belfast and well known TV celebrity Marty Whelan.

The event, favoured by budding artists, is one of the many initiatives run by the ILCU to highlight that community spirit remains alive and well in parishes, villages and towns around the country.

Speaking at the presentation, Jimmy Johnstone, President, ILCU said: “Credit unions have a history of serving communities all over Ireland. This competition is very important to us and is all about encouraging and rewarding creativity, originality and interpretation.

He added: “I would like to congratulate the outstanding level of creativity and imagination reflected through this year’s entries and I would also like to congratulate the hundreds of credit union volunteers and staff and the competition judges who all worked extremely hard to make this year’s competition one of the best to date.

Judge, Kevin Largey, alternative Belfast based artist said: “I was delighted to be involved in judging the entries for the Competition. The quality of the artwork submitted was outstanding, and gave us a difficult job to do in selecting the winning pieces. It’s great to see competitions like this that support the arts, and give young people an opportunity to flourish creatively, and compete for a national prize. Well done to all of the entries that received recognition”.

The judges for this year’s art competition were: Kevin Largey, Artist, John Walsh, Creative Director, FOCUS Advertising Agency, artist Ursula Retzlaff O’Connell and Mandy Johnson, Head of Communications at ILCU.

ART COMPETITION 2012 – NATIONAL WINNERS

Name Credit Union Category Rated
Siobhan Gallagher St Colman’s Claremorris 7 yrs & under (General) Winner
Gillian Greene Roscommon 7 yrs & under (General) Runner up
Kerry Regan Portaferry Credit Union 7 yrs & under (General) Joint Merit
Clodagh McDonagh Macroom 7 yrs & under (General) Joint Merit
Becky Imade Athlone 8 to 10 years (General) Winner
Ciara Henn St Jarlath’s Tuam 8 to 10 years (General) Runner up
Emma Nelis Letterkenny 8 to 10 years (General) Merit
Laura Dolphin Naomh Brendain 11 to 13 years (General) Winner
John Carey Cahir 11 to 13 years (General) Runner up
Emily McCarthy Abbeyfeale 11 to 13 years (General) Merit
Shania McDonagh St. Colman’s Claremorris 14 to 17 years (General) Winner
Julia Dolan Glenamaddy Credit Union 14 to 17 years (General) Runner up
Shalimar Baldemor Letterkenny Credit Union 14 to 17 years (General) Merit
Joanne Scanlon Bunclody 18 years & over (General) Winner
Noel Cox Drimnagh 18 years & over (General) Runner up
Mary Cronin Banagher 18 years & over (General) Joint Merit
Clóda Curran Tralee 18 years & over (General) Joint Merit

SPECIAL CATEGORY

Name Credit Union Category Rated
Glen Molloy Wexford 7 yrs & under (Special) Winner
Paul Whelan Rathkeale & District 7 yrs & under (Special) Runner up
Shane Sheehan Clanmaurice 7 yrs & under (Special) Merit
Alex Molloy Wexford 8 to 10 years (Special) Winner
Ross Smith Blackrock & District 8 to 10 years (Special) Runner up
Ryan Donnelly Kilkeel & District 8 to 10 years (Special) merit
Stacy McGinley Athlone 11 to 13 years (Special) Winner
Dylan O’Donoghue Lismore & Cappoquin 11 to 13 years (Special) Runner up
Nathan Murphy Derry Credit Union 11 to 13 years (Special) Merit
Emma Johnstone Victory Credit Union 14 to 17 years (Special) Winner
Joshua O’Brien Portadown 14 to 17 years (Special) Runner up
Cathy Hennessy St. Dominic’s 14 to 17 years (Special) Merit
Venus Reilly Gorey 18 years & over (Special) Winner
Catherine Fleming Killarney 18 years & over (Special) Runner up
Caroline Fitzpatrick Donnycarney/Beaumont 18 years & over (Special) Joint merit
Emily Flaherty St Jarlath’s Tuam 18 years & over (Special) Joint merit
Our Lady of Good Council Ballincollig Group Winner