Two young poets from Tipperary and Carlow have scooped the top prizes in this year’s ‘Something Fishing’ national poetry competition, which is organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in conjunction with the Blackrock Education Centre.
Orlaith Timmons, a fifth-class pupil from Moycarkey National School in Thurles and Aoibhé Kieran, a sixth-class pupil from Ballon National School in Carlow each won the top prize in their categories for their nature-themed poetry.
Earlier this year, primary school students around the country were challenged by Inland Fisheries Ireland to create an ‘acrostic’ poem, where the first letter of each line spells out the word ‘Stream’ (for an English language poem) or ‘Sruth’ (for an Irish language poem).
Announcing the winners, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD said: “These are gorgeous poems that really capture the joy these young people are experiencing spending time in nature. I’d like to congratulate all our budding young poets on their achievements this year. Through this environmental competition, primary school children have shown huge enthusiasm for nature, fish, other wildlife and the world around us. Improving our children’s knowledge and understanding of biodiversity, through initiatives like this one, will be an important part of our climate action efforts.”
The national poetry competition is an important element of the wider ‘Something Fishy’ Educational Programme, aimed at primary school pupils aged between ten and thirteen. It educates students on the importance of biodiversity and on having sustainable habitats, fish and angling. Despite school closures during the 2020/2021 academic year, online content was still available to pupils and teachers through the official website at www.somethingfishy.ie.
From over a hundred entries, the poetry competition judging panel also selected runners-up from Ballon National School and Bennekerry National School (Carlow), Scoil Mhuire National School in Corofin (Galway), Scoil Cholmcille in Greencastle (Donegal) and St Canice’s Girls National School in Finglas (Dublin).
Praising the young winners and their schools, Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “By researching and writing about fish, wildlife and rivers from an early age, primary school children are learning really important lessons about biodiversity and how we all have a role to play in protecting and conserving our environment. Congratulations to all our winners and our thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s competition. I’d also like to thank all the Teachers, Principals and school staff who supported the ‘Something Fishy’ programme and competition over the last year.”
The overall winners will receive a fishing kit to the value of €100 and runners-up will receive an outdoor field trip kit, to the value of €50. Third placed winners and special category winners will receive goody bags.
Dr Susan Gibney, Director of the Blackrock Education Centre said: “This year we received fantastic entries from budding poets and nature enthusiasts. With a total of 114 entries in the competition for its second year running, it is encouraging to see the interest amongst young people across Ireland. Competitions like this not only help with student’s literacy skills but also expands their knowledge of the biodiversity that exists around them in our lakes and rivers.”
The ‘Something Fishy’ educational programme includes lesson plans for teachers and activity sheets based on the theme of the ‘Life cycle of salmon’ – Bradán. information about the programme is available from http://www.somethingfishy.ie/.
All winning poems from the 2021 ‘Something Fishy’ national poetry competition can be read at http://somethingfishy.ie/schools/.
Winning Poems from the 2021 ‘Something Fishy’ Poetry Competition, organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Blackrock Education Centre
5th Class Category Winner: Orlaith Timmons, Fifth Class at Moycarkey National School in Thurles, Co. Tipperary
Stream by Orlaith Timmons
Salmon in shoals, heading up the river,
Trout dart past the heron, to avoid being dinner.
Reeds by the side, whistle in the breeze,
Eels by the score, slink, and slither with ease
Above are the swallows, dragon flies and the kingfisher,
Moles and the mink, the otter, and the dipper.
6th Class Category Winner: Aoibhé Kieran, Sixth Class, Ballon National School in Carlow
Stream by Aoibhé Kieran
Sitting by the river or sometimes by the sea, I often think that I can see the fish stare back at me.
Trout, Salmon, Rudd and Perch are the fish that come to mind. They might come close for us to see if we could just be quiet and kind.
Ripples in the water is a sign that they are near, when the sun shimmers off their scales we can see them nice and clear.
Every now and then they will leap into the air and when they disappear from sight I often stand and stare.
My days by the river are special to me as I watch all this wildlife…wild and free.
Full list of competition winners:
All prize-winning poems can be read on the competition website at http://somethingfishy.ie/schools/.
The full results from the 2021 ‘Something Fishy’ from Inland Fisheries Ireland competition are as follows:
|5th Class Category||Winner||School|
|1st prize||Orlaith Timmons||Moycarkey National School, Pouldine, Thurles, Co Tipperary|
|2nd Prize||Kate Campion||Bennekerry N.S. Carlow, Co Carlow|
|3rd Prize||Billy O’Brien||Scoil Mhuire NS, Corofin, Co. Clare|
|6th Class Category||Winner||Poem|
|1st prize||Aoibhé Kieran||Ballon National School, Ballon, Co. Carlow|
|2nd Prize||Grace Walker||Ballon National School, Ballon, Co. Carlow|
|3rd Prize||Aodhan Walsh||Scoil Cholmcille, Greencastle, Co. Donegal|
|Irish Language Category||Winner||Poem|
|Irish Language||Abby Donnelly||St Canice’s GNS, Finglas, Dublin|