Wednesday 16 October 2019

New book of original writing is published

Una O’Hagan and Conor Keane are presented with a souvenir hardback copy of the 1902 Centenary Edition of Ireland’s Own by Phil Murphy, Editor.

AN ANTHOLOGY of the best stories from the Ireland's Own Original Writing Competition has just been published, the first such book in the magazine's 108-year history.

52 short stories were selected for the anthology, after being whittled down from the 500 pieces of writing that were entered into the highly-esteemed competition.

At the launch of the book on Sunday in Carlow's Talbot Hotel, author and broadcaster Colm Keane commended the work carried out by Ireland's Own in pioneering new and established writers.

' The most important aspect of Ireland's Own is that their stories are Irish and are written for the Irish,' he said. 'It's difficult to write, it takes a lot of commitment, I know what it takes.'

Colm, along with his wife, news reader, Una O'Hagan, made presentations to the top winners of three separate categories.

Pauline O'Hare of Balbriggan took the first prize in the Open Short Story category for her story, 'Maiden Flight', while creative writing teacher, Paddy Reid, won first prize in the Factual Memories category.

Seventy-nine-year-old Séan O'Ceallaigh, the third Dubliner to take the top prize, won the beginners category for his witty tale, 'Dick Drogan's Dreadful Deception'.

'I couldn't believe that I won,' a delighted Séan said. 'It's never too late to start writing. I've great respect for Ireland's Own and how it supports writers. Every family should buy a copy of the magazine.'

The writing competition, which is in its twentieth year, attracted entries from all over Ireland and Britain with one story coming from South Africa. On the judging panel were former Ireland's Own editors, Gerry Breen and Margaret Galvin, who had the unenviable task of selecting the 52 stories that appear in the anthology.

'Some of the stories will make you cry, some will make you smile and laugh out loud,' Phil Murphy, editor of Ireland's Own, said about the book.

' The writing is of such a high standard that it just has to be put out there,' Garrett Bonne of publishers Original Writers explained. 'We sponsor the writing competition so it made sense that we should publish the work in book form.'

With a foreword by Maeve Binchy, Original Writing from Ireland's Own is priced at €11.95 and or €15 including post and packaging. It's available on-line at or

It's also available to be purchased in the regional offices of People Newspapers or directly from the publishers, Original Writing, Spade Enterprise Centre, North King Street, Dublin 7.