Ennis writer and poet Jennifer Hynes won second place overall in the 2015 International Competition for Writers with Disabilities.
The Competition which is run by Phoenix Sister Cities in Phoenix, Arizona attracts worldwide interest each year.
Jennifer’s poem “Everyone Needs a Helping Hand” was acclaimed by the judges for its simplicity and sincerity. First place went to Hua-Hsuan Chung from Taipei, Taiwan while in third place was Jorge Gonzalez who is from Phoenix.
Councillor Mary Howard Leas-Chathaoirleach Clare County Council presented the award to Ms. Hynes in Ennis this week and congratulated her on the success. Councillor Howard said that Jennifer had brought great honour to the town of Ennis and County Clare.
Councillor Howard also paid tribute to the work that Enable Ireland does each day in encouraging Jennifer and others to use their talents to show the world what can be achieved. She would love to see more entries from disabled Writers and Poets in next year’s Competition, she added.
Jennifer’s poem “Everyone Needs a Helping Hand” was read at the event.
Jennifer’s inspiration for her poem came from the many challenges she faced in recent years. These included the deterioration of her health and the loss of two family members due to illness.
Despite this Jennifer continues to maintain a positive outlook in life. “I do not believe in letting the deterioration to my health stop my involvement in the community. Life is for the living, I am very active in my community and I take part in voluntary groups and sports events” she stated. “I feel the things that are most important to me are having friends who listen and people who understand me. And there is always someone worse off than yourself so once you are content in yourself that’s what important,” she added.
In congratulating Jennifer on her success, T J Waters, Chairman of the Ennis Phoenix Twinning Board said: “We all know about Ireland’s many talented writers and our rich writing tradition so it’s great to see Jennifer’s writings been acknowledged on the world stage. Jennifer determination is the perfect example for all of us, on how in the face of adversary, to get up and get on with life.”
“I would encourage other to follow Jennifer’s lead and then we will be celebrating more success in future years” he added.
In addition to the International Competition for Writers with Disabilities, Phoenix Sister Cities also run Disabled Artists and International Photography Competition each year. These will take place in November, but all entries must be shipped in early October. The judges for the Photography, Writing and Art Competitions are professionally qualified personnel. Further information on these Competitions is now available at www.ennisphoenix.com.
Everyone Needs a Helping Hand
By Jennifer Hynes
Everyone needs a helping hand as life is a time to understand.
Life is full of ups and downs and is never easy from what it sounds.
A friend is a person who is aware and is never spare when I am in despair.
My friends have overcome many challenges.
A huge inspiration this is to me.
We do not let challenges stand in our way.
Instead we greet everyday in a cheery way with a winning smile to make everyone’s day.