WINNER: Rowan Omean Al Salah Holy Cross Mercy NS receives her award from Paul Sherry after winning the ‘Individual Essay Award’ in the 2019 Hugh O’Flaherty National School Essay Competition.


Holy Cross Mercy National School Killarney captured two awards in the 2019 Hugh O’Flaherty National School Essay Competition.


Chair of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society, Jerry O’Grady announced at the presentation in Killarney Library last Friday night, that in addition to one of the school’s pupils winning the ‘Individual Essay Award’, Holy Cross Mercy School also received the ‘Best Collective Award’ for the quality of the entries received from their fifth and sixth class pupils.


The winner of the 2019 Individual Essay Competition was fifth class student. Rowan Omean Al Salah.


Rowan’s concise but powerful essay on why she considered Hugh O’Flaherty to be a hero and, how his example could be applied to today’s world circumstances was the unanimous selection of the independent adjudicators.


“She is a star student in every respect, very popular amongst her fellow students and the teaching staff,” Principal Ursula Coffey said.

“Her commitment and ability to learn is remarkable – having arrived at the school only four years ago without a word of English.”


The main sponsor of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society’s Annual Schools Programme is the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce.


“We are delighted to be associated with this wonderful event. Looking at the essay entries over the past few years, I can see a tremendous sustained awareness of humanitarianism and how it applies to everyday life,” Chamber President, Paul Sherry, said. “Students, teachers and parents can be very proud of the current generation.”