5 MARCH 2004
LIMERICK PARISH JOURNAL SCOOPS FIRST PRIZE
AT ANNUAL PARISH NEWSLETTER COMPETITION
Ballybrown Parish Journal (Limerick) has scooped first prize in this year’s parish
newsletter competition, run by the Irish Bishops Commission for Emigrants (IECE).
Second prize went to Knockmore-Rathduff Parish (Co. Mayo) and third prize went to
Marshallstown-Castledockrell parish (Co Wexford).
The competition is run annually for parish newsletters, journals and magazines which
link their community with their people abroad. This year the IECE received twenty-seven
entries of outstandingly high quality.
The competition, which is sponsored by An Post, was judged by author Maeve Binchy who
commented: “I want to say how much I enjoyed my look at Irish life and marveled at
the depth and warmth of the parish as a place where people belong.”
The winning parishes were presented with their prizes at a special gathering in the
IECE Headquarters in Maynooth, Co Kildare, on Wednesday night. The coveted first
prize of €1,000 and the runner-up prizes were presented by Catherine Dunne author
of The Unconsidered People and Fr Alan Hilliard, Director of the Bishops’ Commission
Catherine Dunne restated the need for this country to honour it’s debt to its emigrants.
She reinforced her point by stating that “in 1961 the entire education budget for primary
and post-primary education was the equivalent of £14 million. That year alone £13.5 million
was returned as emigrant remittances. Their contribution that year educated us”.
Fr. Alan Hilliard encouraged the efforts made by local communities to harness the local
spirit in parish journals and newsletters. Many of these publications find their way
to people abroad who enjoy catching up on their community of origin.
5 March 2004
NOTES TO EDITORS
* The competition is held on an annual basis. Entries for next year should be sent to
IECE, Columba Centre, Maynooth, Co. Kildare on or before 31st October 2004. The IECE
wishes to thank Mr. Eddie Manning and An Post for their generosity and support.
* The Irish Bishops’ Conferences services for emigrants and prisoners overseas is
based in Maynooth and has permanent outreach bases (Chaplaincies) in the UK, USA
(New York; Boston; Chicago; San Francisco; Philidelphia), Australia and Germany.
* Recommendation 7.7 (p61) of the 2002 Report of the Task Force on Policy Regarding
Emigrants, states that an: Agency for the Irish Abroad be established under the aegis
of the Department of Foreign Affairs to coordinate the provision of services to the
Director of Communications Martin Long 086 172 7678
Communications Officer Brenda Drumm 087 233 7797
Director of Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants Fr. Alan Hilliard 01 5053055
Willie Ryan 087 233 6910 – 1st prize Ballybrown Parish Journal
Billy Rodgers 094 58101 – 2nd prize Knockmore/Rathduff
Rev. Patrick Cushen 054 88521 – 3rd prize Marshalstown/Castledockrell
Photographs are available from:
John McElroy 01-8310503, mobile – 087-2416985