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Winners of national animation competition revealed by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office


The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, is delighted to announce the 5 winners of ‘Get Animated about Rights’ – a competition celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the UNCRC with the aim of raising awareness of children’s rights in creative and innovative ways.

Children and young people of all ages were invited to draw a right that inspired them or that they felt was important to children today. The competition was part of a yearlong programme to get people talking about children’s rights and to encourage children and young people to express their views and responses to their rights in reality.

With over 300 entries received from all over Ireland and hundreds of schools, youth organisations and individuals taking part it was the task of four judges to whittle it down to 5 overall winners. These included; Méabh Tammemägi – Producer from Mooshku animations, award-winning writer and director Andrew Kavanagh founder of Kavaleer Productions and Nora Twomey from Cartoon Saloon – Oscar-nominated Irish animator best known for co-directing of ‘The Secret of Kells’ and ‘The Breadwinner’.

The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon said “We were blown away by the sheer volume and young people’s willingness to embrace the challenge and I want to congratulate all the young artists on their creativity and imagination. We are especially delighted to have had the opportunity to partner with Ireland’s animation industry in this Anniversary year. The competition highlights how we can all have a role to play in helping children and young people realise their true potential – by listening, highlighting and ensuring their voices are part of the discussions about our future’.

The judges noted that even the youngest entrants were not afraid of tackling the toughest topics or the most challenging material regarding rights, demonstrating an awareness and ability to capture and bring to life real everyday issues that affect not just them but our country as a whole.

Animator and competition Judge Nora Twomey said ‘Children are the ultimate expression of hope in this world. Their entitlements, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, must continue to be upheld. Their voices must continue to be heard if we are to have hope for the future.

Competition Judge Meabh Tammemagi said “It is amazing to see how people so young can be clued in and knowledgeable on topics that adults find hard to approach. There is an openness and honesty attached to these drawings and I am really proud to be part of such a positive and engaging project.”

The 5 winners are Aoibhinn Traynor aged (5) from Claddagh National School Galway, Fernando Torrente (5) Claddagh National School Galway, Annie Fergus (10) Killocraun National School, Ballina, Co Mayo, Myla Sirvyte (15) St Marks Community School Tallaght and Katie O’Shaughnessy Larkin (12) Scoil Mhuire Na nGael Dundalk, Co. Louth. The issues tackled by the 5 winners were disability rights, homelessness, being safe, family and the importance of balancing rights.
As part of the overall competition prize the 5 winning drawings have been brought to life by leading animators and will feature on the Ombudsman’s website. The winners are having a VIP ‘behind the scenes’ tour at Brown Bag Films’ Dublin studio on Monday 17th September.

Aoibhinn Traynor from Claddagh said ‘I am thrilled I won because I love drawing and making things’.
Creative Director of Brown Bag Films, Darragh O’ Connell said “It is great to see teachers supporting these young people. My own career might never have happened if I wasn’t encouraged by my teachers who caught me drawing down the back of the class instead of concentrating on my studies – thankfully they saw art and expression as something that was just as important. I hope all the winners continue to create art and perhaps some day they might be influencing and entertaining children all over the world.”

Notes to Editor:
25 years ago, Ireland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. To mark this significant milestone the OCO wanted to kick-start a national conversation about childrens rights, raise awareness of the UNCRC and ask children and young people to express their views and responses to their rights in reality. The 25th Anniversary programme invited a wide range of cross-sector partners and creative collaborators to partner with us to engage children and young people in innovative and creative ways.

Further detail on the 25th Anniversary programme can be found on www.