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Written Submission for Ireland

This competition closed on 17 February 2024.

See our 2024 prize winners on the theme
'Biodiversity Matters'


To encourage students to use their journalistic skills to look at a topical issue
which is relevant to Catholic Social Teaching and resonates with Columban mission.

The topic for 2023/2024 is Biodiversity Matters.


  1. Entrants must live on the island of Ireland.

  2. Entrants must be 13-18 inclusive
    (they must have turned 13 on or before 31 August 2023).

  3. Entries must be made by individuals.

  4. No more than 1 written entry per person.

  5. A piece of writing or image generated by AI technology is not allowed. We may require teachers to verify that submissions are original.

  6. Entries can be articles or poems and must be original content.

  7. Entries must be no longer than 1000 words and a minimum of around 800 words. The minimum word count for poems is more flexible.

  8. Entries must be in English.

  9. Where facts or figures are quoted, they must be credited to the source.

See our Frequently Asked Questions if you have questions.


Fr Sean McDonagh, Columban priest, ecologist and author.

Jane Mellett, Church Outreach Manager with Trócaire.

Fr Jason Antiquera, Columban missionary-artist from the Philippines.

William Scholes, Assistant Editor and Features Editor of the Irish News.

Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs correspondent with The Irish Times.

Assisted by Columban co-worker Michael O’Sullivan of the Columban Centre in Dublin, Fr Cyril Lovett, former editor of the Far East magazine, and the current editor, Sarah Mac Donald.

Judging Criteria

  1. Quality of the presentation.

  2. Definition, clarity and fairness.

  3. A representation of some knowledge of the subject and first-hand experience if possible.

  4. Have kept in mind Catholic Social Teaching.

  5. Originality.

  6. Reporting depth.

  7. Construction.

1st place prize €500

2nd place prize €250

3rd place prize €150

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