Theme:  The Outsider

The topic to be addressed in Irish or English is The Outsider, in an essay with a maximum of five hundred words -no minimum applies!

But who is an outsider? Daily we meet people who feel they are outsiders in our world. But everyone is important regardless of where you live, the colour of your skin, the music you like, the school you go to, your religion and everything that makes you a distinctive individual.

(A compelling paragraph that throws new light or makes us think about what it is to be an Outsider, however you define him or her, can win this competition!)


  1. This competition is open to Transition Year Students in all second level schools in Ireland.
  2. Essays can be submitted in Irish and English and must not exceed five hundred words in length with no minimum.
  3. Each essay submitted must be the original, unpublished work, written unaided by each entrant.
  4. Each essay submitted must be in prose as poems cannot be considered for this competition
  5. Entries can be submitted by post or by the form provided. However, all e-mail entries must be included in the body of the e-mail as entries submitted as attachments cannot be accepted.
  6. Postal entries should be sent to: ESSAY COMPETITION, TRUST, Bride Road, Dublin 8
  7. The adjudicators decision is final in all matters pertaining to this competition and no correspondence will be entered into.
  8. Closing date for receipt of entries is February 28, 2001.
  9. Entries submitted by anyone associated or related to the organisers or adjudicators of the competition will not be accepted.


Five Prizes will be awarded by the Board of Adjudicators. One overall winner will receive a laptop computer with a £100 book/music token. Four runner up prizes will also be awarded each consisting of a mini disc player plus book/music tokens each also worth £100.

The overall prize will be awarded to the best entry in Irish or English. However, one of the runner up prizes will also be reserved for the best entry in Irish so that at least one prize, if not the overall award, will go to an entry in Irish.

Results Announced

We are delighted to publish the National Prize Winners here and congratulate them on their success but also sincerely thank everyone who participated. When announcing winners in any competition it is said almost like a cliché that it was a difficult decision. However, the final selection was extremely difficult given the sensitivity and insight shown by so many entries in this competition. Indeed, to acknowledge that fact we hope later this year to publish a much wider selection of those who participated in recognition of their potential to contribute to our understanding of what it means to be an outsider in Irish society today.

“We undertook this essay competition as a means of allowing students to give us their views, perspectives and insights on the outsider. We were impressed that the students of today have the potential to transform the so-called Celtic Tiger, which we find in our work is not very caring or inclusive, into a place where everyone is welcome and no one will feel alienated or excluded. That maybe an idealistic aspiration but if after reading the entries we received I am confident it is more attainable than ever,”
Alice Leahy, Director and Co-Founder of TRUST

National Winners

  • Niamh Fitzgerald
    Loreto College, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2
  • Eithne Byrne
    Gorey, Co. Wexford (Gorey Community School)
  • 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)