Aspiring artists from all over Ireland gathered yesterday for the annual Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) All Ireland Art Competition Awards & Exhibition. Braving the wind and rain, friends and family of the winning artists joined Marty Whelan in a special prize giving at Croke Park in Dublin; some travelling from as far away as Kerry and Donegal for the event.

Now in its 29th year, the Art Competition continues to be one of the most successful annual events undertaken by the credit union movement. The competition this year attracted a huge 30,000 entries through 300 credit unions nationwide.

The competition caters for all ages, with categories ranging from under 7 to 18 years and over. There are two categories, General and Special, with five age groups in each. The Special category invites artists with a physical or intellectual disability to submit entries in free expression, without the restrictions of the competitions official theme if they so wish.

Speaking at the award ceremony, ILCU President, Martin Sisk said: “This competition is one of our flagship events and we are delighted to see the flair and creativity of the young people of Ireland who enter the competition on an annual basis. I am in awe of the outstanding level of imagination reflected in this year’s entries. The theme ‘Gotta Lotta Colour’ is clearly visible in each and every entry. It is interesting to see how uniquely each of the artists interpreted the theme. Well done to everyone involved.”

Host, Marty Whelan added: “This is my third year hosting this event, and I am delighted to be involved. The quality of artwork displayed here today is outstanding. It is always great to see competitions like this support the arts and give people the opportunity to explore their creative side.”

The judges for this year’s competition were: John Walsh, Creative Director FOCUS Advertising Agency, Ursula Retzlaff O’Connell, Artist, John Farrelly, Cartoonist, and Mandy Johnston, Head of Communications at the ILCU.



Name Credit Union Category Rated
Emiligh Hearne Togher 7 yrs & under (Spec) Winner
Padraig Kelly Termonmaguirk 7 yrs & under (Spec) Runnerup
Kailtin O’Brien Bunclody 8 to 10 years (Spec) Winner
Jack Rodgers Kilkeel 8 to 10 years (Spec) Runner up
Katrece King Derry 8 to 10 years (Spec) Merit
Isobel Hanley Ballyjamesduff 11 to 13 years (Spec) Winner
Riain Doherty Derry 11 to 13 years (Spec Runner up
Aoife Brady Togher 11 to 13 years (Spec) Merit Joint
Dylan O’Brien St.Francis 11 to 13 years (Spec) Merit Joint
Chelsea Fauikner Antrim 14 to 17 years (Spec) Winner
James Wellwood Thurles 14 to 17 years (Spec) Runner up
Daniel Caul Fairview 14 to 17 years (Spec) Merit Joint
Michael Grew Armagh 14 to 17 years (Spec) Merit Joint
John McCready Derry 18 years & over (Spec) Winner
Alan Malone Ballybay 18 years & over (Spec) Runner up
Joanne Cullen Castlepollard 18 years & over (Spec) Merit
St. Agnes Retirement Group Donegal Town Group Winner


Name Credit Union Category Rated
Clodagh McDonagh Macroom 7 yrs & under (Gen) Winner
Jack Mc Mahon Cuchulainn 7 yrs & under (Gen) Runner up
Isabella O’Leary Killarney 7 yrs & under (Gen) Merit
Aideen McGlinchey Mulcair 8 to 10 years (Genl) Winner
Oran Mulchrone Cresham Castlebar 8 to 10 years (Gen) Runnerup
Petro Yarorskyy Kilnamanagh 8 to 10 years (Gen) Merit
Lauren Dolphin Naomh Brendain 11 to 13 years (Gen) Winner
Christopher Roche Portlaoise 11 to 13 years (Gen) Runnerup
Aoife Kerr Antrim 11 to 13 years (Gen) Merit
Shania McDonagh St Colemans Claremorris 14 to 17 years (Gen) Winner
Sloane Reeves St. Colmcille’s Kells 14 to 17 years (Gen) Runner up
Owen Mackle Lurgan 14 to 17 years (Gen) Merit
Joanne Scanlon Bunclody 18 years & over (Gen) Winner
Gwen O’Regan Mallow 18 years & over (Gen) Runner up
Chloe Keane Dungarvan 18 years & over (Gen) Merit