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Keash essay award winners

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Evan O’Gara (centre) with his family

Evan O’Gara (centre) with his family

Evan O’Gara (centre) with his family

Eastern Harps' new clubhouse in Keash was the new setting for the Eastern Harps 2020 Kerry McKeon Literary Awards presented recently.

Organised by the club in tandem with the national school teachers of the area and sponsored by the McKeon family the awards are dedicated to the memory of Kerry McKeon whose writings are fondly remembered by Eastern Harps before his untimely passing in 2012.

Four awards were presented each year, under 6, under 8, under 10 and under 12 to the winners of an essay competition selected by the teachers in addition to an overall award which is a perpetual trophy, a carving in wood depicting the ancient history of Kesh Corran.

The carving was done by Sligo craftsman Michael Quirke and among its many features includes the caves, a portrait of Fr. Micheal O'Cleirigh of Four Masters fame who spent some time writing in the area, a feather quill he used for his writings, a portrait of a wolf who allegedly reared an abandoned baby namely Cormac Mac Airt who later became High King of Ireland and a harp

The four remaining trophies were educational and suitably inscribed for the winners to retain. The awards have become highly popular in recent years, and this is reflected both in the quality and the quantity of presentations returned.

Thirteen-year-old Shane Brennan, a nephew of Kerry McKeon presented the awards with the first going to Michael Donovan from Carn National School to take the Under 6 award.

Aidan Flaherty from Monasteraden went home with the Under 8 award. Isabelle Higgins from Keash took the Under 10 trophy.

The champion scribe proved to be Evan O'Gara from Cloonloo National School who took the Under 12 award.

It certainly was an outstanding day for the O'Gara family as not only did Evan take the Under 12 award he also took the prestigious overall award plus a couple of bonus prizes as well.

Sligo Champion