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Sightsavers Junior Painter Winners 2017

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound, on 28/02/2017. Sightsavers Junior Painter Winners 2017Tags: Teachers

Yesterday, Monday February 27th, the winners of the Sightsavers Junior Painter of the Year Awards 2017 were unveiled in The Science Gallery, Dublin.  This year’s theme ‘Framing the Future’ inspired thousands of creative entries from over 200 primary schools nationwide.  The annual competition was devised by Sightsavers to inspire Irish children to express their artistic talent through painting, whilst developing an appreciation of the importance and value of their sight and the additional challenges facing those living with visual impairment in developing countries.   

This year’s overall winner was 8 year old Dylan Williams from Ennis National School, County Clare for his wonderful creation ‘In the Future I Will Live in a Music City’. Second and third place went to Ella Taylor (7 years) from Scoil Mhuire na nGael, Dundalk County Louth and Shane Maher (12 years) from Scoil Naomh Cualán, Borrisoleigh County Tipperary. For the first time ever, because the standard of entry was so high, the judges broke all the rules and awarded a 4th National prize.  This went to Sarah Mullaney, aged 12, from Midfield National School, Swinford Co. Mayo. The winners were thrilled to meet the News2Day host, Gill Stedman, who presented the prizes and took the time to congratulate the young artists.   

Catrina Sheridan, CEO of Sightsavers Ireland said: “What was clear from all the remarkable entries is that the children of Ireland have a strong sense of what the future should be like. Currently 90% of children in developing countries who lose their sight don’t get to go to school.  These brilliant young artists have shown us a future where everyone has a chance to learn, earn and be happy.  I would like to congratulate all those who entered, it is wonderful that through this national competition, students and teachers can gain awareness of the important work Sightsavers provides – helping to prevent avoidable blindness and working for equality of opportunity for those living with visual impairment.”

This year’s “Framing the Future” theme was judged by Joan Bergin, Laureate na nÓg PJ Lynch, and artist and Director of Arts and Disability Ireland Padraig Naughton. They were astounded by the entries received and especially noted the fantastic expression, colour and time that went into each and every painting. 
The children queued enthusiastically to have treasured books autographed by PJ Lynch, whose many book illustrations take pride of place in the libraries of their schools.

Head of Arts & Disability Ireland, Padraig Naughton, spoke of his experience growing up in Ireland at a time when being born with a visual impairment meant having to leave his family at a very young age to receive an education, bringing home to our audiences the additional challenges faced by those living with visual impairment in developing countries, where resources are so limited.

The winning top three schools receive substantial cash prizes, which have been generously pledged by The Irish Times. The 15 finalists receive creative toolkit from ReCreate Ireland, and the top three schools additionally receive memberships of ReCreate, allowing them free access to a warehouse of arts and crafts materials for a year. The competition sponsors generously supported the judges’ request to acknowledge a 4th place national winner this year, with once-off prizes for this unique award. Each child that entered received a Certificate of Participation in recognition of their creative efforts.

The 15 finalist paintings will be exhibited in Powerscourt Townhouse Centre from July 1st through to August 5th. These are:

  • Dylan Williams Age 8 from Ennis NS, Co. Clare for the painting ‘In the future I will live in a music city’.
  • Ella Taylor Age 7 from Scoil Mhuire na nGael, Co. Louth for the painting ‘I'll have a flying app on my iPhone’
  • Shane Maher Age 12 from Scoil Naomh Cualan, Co. Tipperary for the painting ‘Science enables the blind to see’.
  • Sarah Mullaney Age 12 from Midfield NS, Co. Mayo for the painting ‘Everyone living life to the full’
  • Rachel Foster-McDaid Age 8 from St Francis NS, Co. Donegal for the painting ‘Hoverville’.
  • Grace Lynch Age 10 from Craughwell NS, Co. Galway for the painting ‘Let girls learn’.
  • Shane Mullaney Age 6 from Midfield NS, Co. Mayofor the painting ‘Going to the moon with my friends in my rocket’.
  • Gavin Devaney Age 9 from St Johns NS Temple St, Co. Sligo for the painting ‘I have drawn what I think everyone should have in the future’.
  • William O'Riordan Age 9 from St Laurence's NS, Co. Wicklow for the painting ‘Flying buildings & Summer igloo’
  • Stephen Walsh Age 12 from Ratoath SNS, Co. Meath for the painting ‘Wish you were here’
  • Shane Tisdall Age 5 from Kilbride NS, Co. Wicklow for the painting ‘City of the Future’
  • Kiran Fatima Age 12 from St Pauls NS Irishtown, Co. Laois for the painting ‘Framing Flying Fairy & Flying School’.
  • Chloe Telford Age 10 from Scoil Mhuire, Co. Clare for the painting ‘Everyone is different’.
  •  Mia Hunt Age 6 from SN Naomh Eirc, Co. Kerry for the painting ‘Open your eyes’.
  • Weronika Begier Age 11 from Presentation Primary, Co. Tipperary for the painting ‘We can all play together’.


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