A FIFTH-class pupil from St Patrick’s Girls National School is celebrating after she was selected as the overall winner of the Going for Gold ‘Design a Lapel Pin’ competition.
Anna Kinsella, 11, from Rhebogue was one of more than 600 young people who entered the competition which was supported by the JP McManus charitable foundation and backed by the Limerick Leader.
The competition, launched earlier this year, was open to students across Limerick who are in primary, secondary or third level education.
Anna’s winning design, which incorporates the shape of County Limerick, the county colours and a heart, is set to feature on a series of high-quality lapel pins and tie pins, which will be available free of charge from the Limerick Leader office and other prominent locations in around four weeks’ time. JP McManus is hoping that they will be worn with pride by Limerick people around the world.
“It’s really exciting for Limerick and it’s about having pride in Limerick and people having a real interest in showing off Limerick. I just hope everyone will wear the pins when they are released in a couple of weeks,” said Helen O’Donnell, chairperson of the Limerick city Tidy Towns committee, who along with Leader editor Alan English was one of the judges.
“We have a brilliant winner. Anna was one of the younger entrants, which was interesting. There was a huge amount of entries from all levels of educational institutions - it was great!” she enthused.
Anna, a fifth-class pupil, said she is delighted her entry was selected as the overall winner. “I was very happy when the school principal told me. I was jumping up and down and all my class applauded!” said Anna, whose sister Elise, 6, is in senior infants at St Patrick’s, Dublin Road.
While Anna is known for being meticulous in everything she does, she says she came up with the winning design is just 10 minutes.
“We were given it to do as homework so I went home and I did it really quickly because I knew exactly what I wanted to do so I just did the main aspects of the shape of Limerick. I just wrote Limerick and put in a little love heart and the GAA colours,” she explained.
Anna’s mother, Yvette, said she is extremely proud of her daughter’s achievement.
“Anna wouldn’t be very creative, it’s the first artistic thing that I have really seen her do because she is normally so meticulous. She would redo everything and redo it again,” she said.
Yvette says the scale of Anna’s achievement will really hit home when the lapel pins are produced and made available across the city and county.
“I’ve been fit to burst with pride since she won and it is something that she can put on her CV for years to come, which is great,” she said, smiling broadly.
Donal O’Gorman, principal of St Patrick’s Girls National School, said everybody at the school is extremely proud of Anna and her achievement.
“Practically everyone in the school entered the competition and we put a lot of effort into it. Her entry is very simple but it’s fantastic,” he said.
Mr O’Gorman added that the competition was a great initiative to get young children involved in the Going for Gold campaign, which has been running in communities across Limerick for the past two years in conjunction with the national Tidy Towns competition.
“It’s a major step forward and it is vital because maybe some of them are currently the ones who are throwing litter on the ground. This might educate them and give them a sense of pride in their own city,” he told the Limerick Leader.
In addition to the overall winning design being produced as a gold-plated lapel pin, the competition had a generous total prize fund of €7,500.
The winning schools in each category will receive a €1,200 cash prize with the second place and third placed entries also receiving substantial cash prizes. Each of the three finalists in the third-level category (see entries below) will receive prizes ranging from €800 to €250.