Dundalk student wins prestigious Book of Kells Creative Competition

Talented local student

Áine Kenny


Áine Kenny



Dundalk student wins prestigious Book of Kells Creative Competition

Dundalk student wins prestigious Book of Kells Creative Competition

Cara Pilbeam from Dundalk has claimed first prize in the secondary school art section of the Book of Kells Creative Competition.

The competition is organised by Trinity College Dublin and features two categories, writing and art. Cara fought off stiff competition from young artists all over the world, with students from 52 primary schools and 42 secondary schools taking part.

The competition had at least one entrant from every county in Ireland, as well as entrants from the US and UK. 1,500 people entered in total. The competition was open to primary schools, secondary schools and adults. Participants ranged from 3-83 years of age.

PJ Lynch Laureate na nÓg, author and illustrator, along with Dr. Rachel Moss, Head of History of Art and Architecture at Trinity College were on the judging panel who awarded Cara first prize.

The talented St Vincent’s student is no stranger to success. She received a Special Merit Award in the Texaco Children’s Art Competition in 2016 for her beautiful work.

A special awards ceremony took place on Wednesday the 17th of January to honour the winners, with family, friends and teachers in attendance.

The standard of the art was very high which made it difficult for the judges to decide on a winner. PJ Lynch, who is also the ambassador of the competition, congratulated all of the people who took part. “I was absolutely delighted by the fantastic talent shown by so many of the entrants and by the creativity, imagination and originality,” he says. “It was a pleasure to judge this competition but a very difficult task to choose the winners.”

Darryl Jones is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Trinity College and he awarded the prizes to the lucky winners.

“This was a truly wonderful competition to be a part of, to see how the extraordinary Book of Kells still manages to hold such inspiration for all ages even today. The talent shown by all our entrants was incredible and made the task of judging the entrants even more difficult,” he admits. “We are however very happy with the wonderful poetry and short stories that we have chosen as our winners as they truly captured a modern interpretation of The Book of Kells, while adding their own style and vision into each piece,” he concluded.

The competition is now open for 2018, with the theme being “Animals in the Book of Kells”. The closing date will be November 30th and further information will be available in the coming weeks on the website https://www.tcd.ie/visitors/competition/.