RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival – TY Schools Playwright Competition.

The RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival announced the winner of the 2024 Transition Year Schools Playwright Competition, now in its 11th year, at the awards ceremony on Monday 29th April 2024 in the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone. The winning play was performed after the Awards Ceremony by an experienced cast ably directed by Alfie Kilduff and Joe McCarrick and, as in previous years, the event will be an RTÉ News2day program item.


Athlone Credit Union Logo
Athlone Credit Union Logo


This year’s TY student entries, on the theme ‘Home’ have come from 12 counties (Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath and Wexford). For the fifth year, the prize money for our six finalists has been kindly sponsored by Athlone and Castlerea Credit Union. The top six award winning scripts are from five different schools (3 from Dublin, 1 from Kerry, 1 from Roscommon and 1 from Tipperary). They are listed here in alphabetical order by name.

Fingleton Aoife Our Lady’s Grove Secondary School Friarland Dublin14

Healy-Lloyd Alena Castlerea Community School Castlerea Co Roscommon

Johnson Lucy Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine Kenmare Co Kerry

Ní Bhaoighill Sinéad Our Lady’s Grove Secondary School Friarland Dublin 14

O’Donnell Amelia Loreto College St Stephen’s Gr Dublin

Taaffe Maria Ursuline Convent Secondary School Thurles Co Tipperary

The remaining 10 shortlisted students are listed below:

Brazier Marochelle Killina Presentation Secondary School Tullamore Co. Offaly

Bruen Alice Castlerea Community School Castlerea Co. Roscommon

Elliot Stephen Tullamore College Tullamore Co. Offaly

Holtan Katie Coláiste Clavin Longwood Co. Meath

Kavanagh Daniel Killina Presentation Secondary School Tullamore Co. Offaly

McManus Gráinne Sacred Heart Secondary School Clonakilty Co. Cork

Maher Sophie Ursuline Convent Secondary School Thurles Co. Tipperary

O’Flanagan Michaela Castlerea Community School Castlerea Co. Roscommon

Paul Gabriela Calasanctius College Oranmore Co. Galway

Rychlowska Hanna Tullamore College Tullamore Co. Offaly.




Athlone Credit Union Logo

The panel

We have a guest speaker, Dr. Christa de Brún, poet, English and Drama lecturer in Southeast Technological University, Waterford, who addressed the students on the benefits of script writing and the potential future value in developing the student’s own creative gift in a way that encourages them to write a script for a play. To date, this educational link between the All Ireland Drama Festival and the second level schools is a success story to continue.

This competition is meant to spark off an idea for TY students by giving them an opportunity to write a one-act play and hopefully the experience will feed into the proposed introduction of Drama as an arts subject for their Leaving Certificate year.

One of them might write a script for a play in the future that will reach the All Ireland Drama Festival final!

The judging panel, led by Billy Nott, Co-ordinating judge and Committee member, are as follows:-

Evelyn Breen, Clive Darling, Paddy Martin, Joe MacCarrick and Billy Nott. All of them, together with our Festival Director, Regina Bushell and festival committee congratulate all schools and students for their participation over the eleven years. Judges have had a difficult task but, as they are all well accomplished in various aspects of theatre production and performance, they have enjoyed the challenge. All of them have expressed great admiration for the TY students who have entered so wholeheartedly into the competition with innovative ideas and good writing. Margaret Egan, Schools Playwright Co-ordinator, explains that this is a learning led rather than exam driven discipline which places the onus on students themselves to engage meaningfully with characters in scriptwriting. 

Our festival committee and judges all join in wishing TY students continued success with any further writing engagements.

The top 6 winners

Congratulations to Amelia O’Donnell from Loreto College Dublin, winning first place with ‘Gan Dídean’.
Teacher: Sarah Fynes.

Play Synopsis.

A homeless girl feels invisible as she wishes the passers by ‘A Merry Christmas’ and calls out “Any change for the homeless?” She ponders on her so called home that was – a roof over her head but not a refuge. Now street teenagers ridicule her and trample on her paper cup. She is attacked by an aggressive male homeless person who delivers a punch to her face. Her notebook is her whole world home escape as she likes to write. She questions her heart feelings as to what life her soul will lead and if it will be fulfilling. “Am I just a lesson for other people or will this life be the making of the breaking for me?” A supermarket worker who cared for her found her a source of comfort and guidance. She valued her literary writing pieces left behind on paper napkins. These writings she kept alive in her memory after an unsympathetic Garda orders the homeless girl to move, handcuffing her for disturbing the peace.

About Amelia

Amelia is involved in Model United Nations conferences gaining her a distinguished delegate award and European Youth Parliament debating in Dáil Éireann qualifying for the Oxford junior debating championships.