Donegal student wins merit award in national essay competition

THE Law Society of Ireland has announced the winners of the inaugural National Gráinne O’Neill Memorial Legal Essay Competition, with Donegal student Carys Hudner winning a merit award. 

The announcement was made at an event at the Law Society, Dublin on 23 March 2023.

The competition received over 80 essays from 38 schools across 14 different counties. Each student submitted a 1,500-word essay examining the topic, “The law and social media: striking a balance between freedom of expression and responsible usage.”


Donegal student Carys Hudner, Moville Community College won a merit award, while Keira Keogh, Loreto Letterkenny was also among the 32 finalists that attended the event in Dublin.

Chairperson of the Law Society’s Education Committee, Richard Hammond SC, said, “This competition aims to encourage young people to engage with the law and consider their own legal rights, how the law impacts society. This competition aims to inspire students’ learning and develop their creativity in an engaging way. We were delighted to welcome our student finalists, their parents, guardians, and teachers, to the home of the Law Society of Ireland at Blackhall Place to celebrate their achievements.”


Transition Year student Saorla McDonagh Sharkey, St Vincent’s Secondary School, Dundalk, Louth, won the top prize.

Hari Chandana Parimkayala, Loreto Secondary School, Wexford was awarded second place and Michael Kerley of De La Salle College, Dundalk, Co. Louth came third.

Four merit certificates were awarded to Huriyah Baqer of Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan, Dublin; Carys Hudner of Moville Community College, Donegal; Saoirse Reilly of The High School, Dublin; and Eimear McCarthy of Coláiste na Toirbhirte, Bandon, Cork.

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