The senior county winning poster created by Emily Gilmore of Robeen Central National School, Hollymount.

Mayo winners in Someone Like Me schools art competition announced

SAINT Joseph's National School, Ballinrobe, and Robeen Central National School are celebrating being named junior and senior county winners respectively of the prestigious national art competition, Someone Like Me.

They will now join over 40 other schools to compete for the much sought-after national title at an online awards ceremony to be held on February 3.

Someone Like Me, which is organised by the National Disability Authority, attracted more than 1,800 entries from national schools across the country. The competition has been designed to be a national celebration of the things that unite children of all abilities and, over its six-year history, more than 8,000 children have taken part, creating a tangible contribution to developing more positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities.

The Ballinrobe school's winning entry was by second class pupil Lucy O'Malley, featuring two children playing together with different abilities. Their differences don't stop them from being able to play together.

The senior county winner from Robeen NS was Emily Gilmore of sixth class who produced a poster telling the story of a wheelchair user who had a dream to be an astronaut. Despite people telling her she couldn't, she did!

During the last school term of 2021 teachers and their pupils across Ireland worked through special lesson plans which challenged them to respond artistically and creatively to the theme of Someone Like Me, while, at the same time, appreciating and respecting similarities and differences in people.

The judges were particularly impressed with the submissions from pupils and teachers at St. Joseph's NS and Robeen NS, selecting them as county winners based on their insightful and inspirational responses to the theme.

Congratulating both schools, Minister of State with special responsibility for disability, Anne Rabbitte, said that she was hugely encouraged by the growing interest in the competition which is helping to develop a shared understanding of how we should treat others in a caring, sensitive and inclusive way, and promoting a sense of belonging and connectedness.

“We are exceptionally pleased with the response to this year’s competition which took place during challenging times not just in our schools, but right across our communities, due to the ongoing global pandemic,” she said.

“I am so impressed by the standard of entry and the obvious thought that has gone into each creative submission. Once again, our primary school teachers and pupils have shown their commitment to putting ‘ability’ under the spotlight helping to build a more inclusive society.”