NDA Primary School Art Competition winners announced on International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2019

A group of 5th and 6th class pupils from The Downs National School in Mullingar, County Westmeath were today (3 December 2019) announced as the overall winners of the ‘Someone Like Me’ art competition supported by the National Disability Authority (NDA). The primary schools initiative aims to promote disability awareness, nurture understanding and highlight the similarities that exist within people of all abilities.

The winning entry, selected from a shortlist of 49 entries, is a beautifully created superhero pop-up book which tells the story of Fionn and his journey to America for a life changing operation. This is the second year in a row that the County Westmeath school has won the top prize which was presented at a ceremony held at Dublin City Hall on what is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Winners of 'Someone Like Me' art competition

County Limerick’s, Ballybrown National School was also presented with the Judges’ Highly Commended Award for its entry which comprises a noticeboard of a girl with a disability which documents her everyday sporty lifestyle.

Siobhan Barron, Director of the National Disability Authority, who presented the awards to recipients on the day, added her congratulations saying that the Someone Like Me Art Competition has become an important part of the National Disability Authority’s calendar.

“The Someone Like Me art competition, which is now in its fourth year, is an important means of engaging with our young people at a time when they are discovering the world around them and forming opinions about others. The competition aims to develop a positive mind-set that focuses children’s thoughts on differing abilities in a way that fosters a culture of inclusivity that will carry on into adulthood, permeating into our communities and society in general. Congratulations to everyone who took part, particularly the county winners, Ballybrown National School and The Downs National School.”

Winners 'Someone Like Me' art competition

The ‘Someone Like Me’ national primary school art competition is funded by the NDA. According to Census 2016, almost 650,000 people in Ireland have a disability, and 59,000 of those are children under 15.

The competition, which offers a range of prizes up to the value of €750, was open to all primary school pupils from junior infants to sixth class and 2,600 entries were received from individual pupils, class groups and whole schools right across Ireland. Entries ranged from posters and collages to large sculptural installations and multi-media pieces.

Art competition winners

The judging panel for the competition included Caomhán Mac Con Iomaire, Education Administrator at the National Gallery of Ireland, Léann Herlihy a performance artist and art educator based between Ireland and Poland and Terri Cole, B.A. English (Hons) and M.Ed (Hons) in International Education, who has 8 years teaching experience across a wide range of grade levels and disciplines within Primary and Post Primary schools