Wexford People - - NEWS - By ANNA HAYES

THERE WERE cel­e­bra­tions at Bridgetown Vo­ca­tional Col­lege re­cently as this year’s fifth year stu­dents cel­e­brated the end of their cre­ative writ­ing pro­gramme and also marked ten years of the pro­gramme.

Writer in Res­i­dence, Billy Roche has been work­ing with fifth year stu­dents at the school, every year for the past ten years, and joked that it was the long­est time he had ever held down a job for! The pro­gramme is un­der­taken by two English Higher Level Classes in LC1 each year.

It is funded by Po­etry Ire­land and the school and was fa­cil­i­tated this year by teachers Anne Hally and Kara Cahill.

Each year, a se­lec­tion of awards are handed out to par­tic­i­pants with four stu­dents hon­oured at this year’s event. They were: Joshua McLough­lin and Zuzanna Neu­mann - joint first; and Shane Wa­ters and Ab­bi­gail O’Con­nor - joint run­ners-up.

To mark the oc­ca­sion of the tenth an­niver­sary of the pro­gramme, a book fea­tur­ing writ­ers from the pre­vi­ous nine years is been com­piled at present.

Billy Roche said that the project had been a very in­ter­est­ing one, span­ning over the past ten years. He ac­knowl­edged that while cer­tain things had changed - par­tic­u­larly tech­nol­ogy - the same themes were com­ing up again and again.

‘In gen­eral, the themes re­main con­stant. The ar­che­typal things are al­ways there. For ex­am­ple, the Greek myths are no­tice­able even though the stu­dents might not have stud­ied them. It’s in­ter­est­ing to read the work of peo­ple who are on the cusp of ma­tu­rity. I said that I had come to in­spire the stu­dents but was duly in­spired by them.’

Two pre­vi­ous stu­dents, he said, had gone on to study cre­ative writ­ing in col­lege in Gal­way and he re­marked that, every year, they un­earthed a spe­cial tal­ent as well as giv­ing an out­let to peo­ple who might not pre­vi­ously have had one.

‘It’s been a won­der­ful experience in a great school,’ said Billy, adding that the col­lec­tion had some­thing for ev­ery­one.

On the day, a cheque for €1,000 was also pre­sented to the school by the com­mit­tee of the Write by the Sea Kil­more Lit­er­ary Fes­ti­val. This will go to­wards the print­ing of the afore­men­tioned an­thol­ogy.

Teacher Anne Hally’s LC1 class with Billy Roche at the Bridgetown Vo­ca­tional Col­lege Writer in Res­i­dence awards (from left) back – Shan­non White, Lau­ren McCor­mack, Jake Walsh, Roisin O’Grady, Jack Lacey, Clodagh Ruth­botham, Eleanor Clay­ton, Naoise...

At the pre­sen­ta­tion of a cheque for €1,000 to Bridgetown Col­lege by the Write By The Sea Fes­ti­val (from left) back - Siob­han Cronin, Jenny Roche, Billy Roche, Kara Cahill, Su­san Kelle­her, Anne Hally and Stephanie McKenna; front – Sylvia Kehoe (Write By...

Fion­nu­ala Greene (prin­ci­pal), Shane Wa­ters (joint runner-up), Ab­bi­gail O’Con­nor (joint runner-up), Joshua McLough­lin (joint 1st), Suzanna Neu­mann (joint 1st) and Billy Roche.

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