The last in a series of events to mark the festival of Bealtaine was celebrated with a literary evening at the Excel on Thursday May 26.
Excitement was mounting through a packed programmed of events that would cumulate in the announcements of the winners of the Excel literary competition.
A packed programmed commenced with the Youth Theatres presentation of a short piece of drama by Paulita and Sean and also a poignant moment when Excel writing class members Eleanor Gormley read her children’s book ‘The Little Flower Bulb’. The book seeks to help children bereaved by suicide and is beautifully written with compassion and understanding.
During the course of events, Helen Buckley, from Knockanrawley Resource Centre who is project leader in the Rainbows Programme for Children who suffer loss in their lives, was presented with Eleanor Gormley’s book.
Brendan Lonergan read his poems on the themes of Summer Flowers and Immigration - very evocative of the times we live in.
The Short Story competition winner was Pauline Morey, from Foynes, Co. Limerick with her story titled, ‘Identity’.
Veronica Crowe, from the V.E.C., presented the first prize and her assistance with the funding process and availability to help bring adult education projects to fruition was acknowledged on the night.
Eileen Condon, Adult Education Officer with the V.E.C. also took time to acknowledge the wonderful work done by Tutor, Sheila Quealey in education and mentoring her students.
“This night was the culmination of a lot of hard work and vision and who would have thought that a little notion of facilitating a creative writing course at the Excel could turn into such a grand affair,” said tutor of the Creative Writing Course, Sheila Quealey. “What a brilliant night… I’d like to sincerely thank the staff of the Excel for all your support and encouragement.”
Second and third prize went to Aly Fenn from Schull, Co. Cork who unfortunately was unable to be present but was represented by Sylvia Green and Angela Lonergan, both members of Excel creative writing class, who read excerpts from her stories.
The competition attracted 50 story entries from all around the country.
A special award was presented to creative writing class member, Melissa by Sheila Quealey for the most improved member of introductory class and for Melissa’s dedication and attention to her creative writing.
After refreshments writer Michael Coady took to the podium to regale the audience with his wonderful poetry and prose.
“What a master of the written word Michael Coady is,” said Mary Alice O’Connor of the Excel. “He lives an ordinary life, in an ordinary town with extraordinary insight. The range and breath of Michael’s writings is wonderful and we could have listened all night.”
The importance of the V.E.C. funding was highlighted and the culmination of which could be seen in the wonderful evening with its depth and diversity of content.