Hanna Greally International Literary Awards
including the Ger Hanily Memorial Cup

The Hanna Greally International Literary Awards are on hiatus for 2018 but will be back.

In the meantime, a poetic representation from last year’s Awards will accompany the photographic exhibition, Beneath Western Skies at SiarScéal Festival 2018. For further information, please visit our Festival page. You can also view and download the programme of events in handy brochure form.

Previous Awards

Details of the Hanna Greally International Awards for 2017 were announced at SiarScéal Festival, which took place over two days 20-21 October 2017 at Roscommon County Library HQ. The Overall Winner was Faye Boland for her poem Peripheral. Full details of this and previous competitions are available the archive section of our website.

SiarScéal Anthology 2012: Roscommon in Reflection.
A selection of entries, representing the cream of the first five years was published in 2012 in the form of an anthology entitled Roscommon in Reflection, which is available to buy online.
SiarScéal Anthology 2016: Centenary in Reflection

A further anthology, Centenary in Reflection, was published in 2016 and is also available to buy online along with other publications.

Background to The Hanna Greally International 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.

Birds Nest Soup by Hanna Greally

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’.

Flown the Nest by Hanna Greally
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.