A quick trip down the completely uninteresting M4 / M6 (my sat nav refused to recognise the latter, believing me to be driving through a very large field and thus asking me to turn right or left at every bridge) to Gurteen or Gorteen about 12 miles north of Loughrea. One pub cum shop, one church and St. Kerrill's school which had fantastic views of the east Galway countryside basking in the summer sun.
John Corbett, the coordinator, confirmed what I had suspected - that numbers entering the poetry competition were down on previous years, (hence the fact that I won) but with my talent, I'll take everything I can get!! 2nd prize was Thomas Moloney from Limerick with a very thought provoking poem called From the Cradle of Mankind to the Big Smoke. Drogheda's Marie McSweeney was third. Tommy Murray of the Meath Writers Circle and Patrick Fay, whom I had met at a workshop run by Noel Monaghan last year, were highly commended.
Vincent McDonnell won the short story competition.
I read my poem (rather badly as it happened) and then we were treated to a display of food that could have fed the five thousand, including scones with jam, cream and real strawberries. All in all, we were made to feel really welcome and I'll definitely be entering again next year.