The Hanna Greally Literary Awards 2014
including the Ger Hanily Memorial Cup

The Hanna Greally Literary Awards for 2014 have been announced. Our thanks to everyone who took part. Entries were received from all parts of Ireland and further afield, giving the competition a truly international flavour.

The judges were very impressed by quality of entries and, given that the theme of the competition was open, choosing the winners in any of the categories was never going to be easy. Nevertheless, after careful deliberation, the following decisions were made.

Overall Winner

Publishing Package courtesy of The Manuscript Publisher
  • Rose Morris for The Wall (short story)

National Winners

  • Poetry - William Tiernan for My Brother Michael
  • Prose - Raymond McBride for The Old Man of the Bogs

Highly Commended

  • Poetry - Patricia Donnellan for Bealaclugga Bridge
  • Prose - Jenny Leigh for Stranger

Local Competition

  • Gearoid O'Brien for The Whiff of Freedom
  • Anne Hanly for The Shannon at Clooneigh

International Awards

  • Poetry - G.W. Colkito for Wrinkles
  • Prose - Jenny Leigh for Stranger

The Ger Hanily Memorial Cup

(for the  best entry on theme of Coman's Wood)
  • John Griffin for Christmas Train

The next Hanna Greally Literary Awards will take place in 2016. Details will be announced in due course. Watch this space or sign up to our mailing list to receive advance notification. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


About The Hanna Greally Literary Awards

Hanna Greally (also known as Johanna or Joan Greally) was born in Athlone in 1925. At the age of nineteen, she was committed to St. Loman’s psychiatric hospital in Mullingar, where she was detained, against her will, for almost 20 years. Despite several escape attempts and numerous letters to her relatives to claim her out, Hanna remained in St. Loman’s until 1962.

She spent some time in rehabilitation and re-training in Coolamber House before working as a cook and housekeeper, in Ireland and in England. In 1971, Hanna saw the publication in Ireland of Bird Nest Soup, her moving first-person account of life inside Ireland’s psychiatric hospitals, in the 1940s and 1950s.  In the early 1970s, she came to live in Fourmilehouse, Roscommon where she spent most of the remainder of her days after the ‘Big House’.

She was a regular contributor to the Roscommon Champion, writing letters, poems and other autobiographical pieces for the paper.  Hanna Greally died on August 15, 1987. The Hanna Greally Literary Awards were inaugurated on the 10th anniversary of her death and have been held every year since.

  • Hanna Greally was the subject of a documentary by Mary Owens, first broadcast on RTÉ Radio One on Sunday 15th June 2009. A podcast is available from the RTÉ website.
  • Copies of her books are available to purchase on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.