Alice Leahy, Director & Co-Founder of TRUST today announced the five National Winners in the Trust Essay Competition on the theme of the outsiders in Irish society which was co-sponsored by THE IRISH TIMES and the Dept. of Justice with the support of the Rotary Club of Dublin. Describing the competition as a tremendous success she said it showed that young people are quite clearly aware of the implications of exclusion in this society as many of them in different ways have experienced it.

“The Celtic Tiger economy is not an inclusive idea if our experience shows anything. The pressure to succeed is now so great that failure means exclusion. That pressure is very evident even amongst students in the second level sector as the points race intensifies at this time of the year. However, the heartening thing about the results of this competition is how sensitive many students are to the needs of others and how aware they are of those who are excluded. The emerging generation in our second level schools should be more encouraged to continue to explore what it means to be an outsider and maybe we can begin to create a more caring society.”

The Five National Winners are:

  • Eithne Byrne, Gorey, Co. Wexford (Gorey Community School)
  • Niamh Fitzgerald, Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
  • Hugh Forde, Gormanston College, Co. Meath
  • Sinead Hickey, Dundrum, Dublin 14 (Our Lady’s Grove S.S., Goatstown Rd.)
  • Aisling Ni Chathasaigh, Killarney, Co. Kerry (Gael Colaiste Chiarrai, Tralee)

The Overall Winner (to be announced on May 15th) will receive a Laptop Computer and £100 in book tokens and each of the National Winners will receive a mini disc player and £100 in book tokens.

The National Essay project was undertaken as part of TRUST Transition Year Project. A web site was also launched as part of this initiative www.trust-ireland.ie – and full details and background on the project can be found there!