Athlone Castle hails annual Cruinniú na nÓg event a resounding success

The Athlone Castle team have expressed much delight with the response to the programme of activities for Cruinniú na nÓg.

A wealth of children and their parents participated in the various online events including creative workshops and ‘Shenanigans on the Shannon’ storytelling sessions. In particular, the creative writing competition was a huge success and many brilliant and exciting stories were submitted by local children.

Cruinniú na nÓg is a flagship initiative of the Creative Ireland Programme’s Creative Youth Plan to enable the creative potential of children and young people. The highlight of Athlone Castle’s Cruinniú na nÓg events supported by Creative Ireland and Westmeath County Council was the live streaming of the virtual ceremony on Saturday, June 12, during which the winners of the Athlone Castle’s Creative Writing competition were announced, and the ‘Olaf and Hugh’s Adventures at Athlone Castle’ publication was officially launched online by the John Broderick’s Writer in Residence, Keith Payne and Caroline Coyle, of Poetry in the Park.

“We would like to congratulate the winners and highly commended recipients. We were inundated with entries to this competition which culminated in a virtual awards ceremony held on Saturday 12th June 2021 as part of the national Cruinniú na nÓg celebrations. All the finalists were invited to read their works and it was amazing to hear the children’s dramatic delivery of their stories and poetry,” Manager of Athlone Castle, Carmel Duffy, enthused.

Prizes in the 7-11 age category were awarded to Sophia Downey, Orla Wiseman and Eleanor Neary and prizes in the 12-17 age category were awarded to Lily Casey, Jumoke Adagun and Ben Morgan. In addition, stories by Julia Turner, Norah Muldowney and Elih Kelly were highly commended.

The winning and highly commended entries form the ‘Olaf and Hugh’s Adventures at Athlone Castle’ publication, which is now available to download from Athlone Castle’s website at

A copy of the book has been gifted to the Aidan Heavey Library, Athlone, Westmeath County Library Headquarters at Áras an Chontae, Mullingar, Moate Library and Roscommon Library.

Athlone Castle extends its gratitude to Creative Ireland and Westmeath County Council for supporting this year’s Cruinniú na nÓg celebrations.


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