Skip to main content
Representation in Ireland
News article30 April 20213 min read

Winners of ‘Aistritheoirí Óga 2021’ (Young Translators) announced

The winners of the 'Aistritheoirí Óga 2021' (Young Translators) contest were announced at a virtual award ceremony today, 30 April.

Winners of the Aistritheoirí Óga 2021 contest

Five secondary school students made the list - one from each of the four provinces in Ireland (translations from English to Irish) and one who was selected for her excellent translation from Spanish to Irish.  This year's winners come from Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Tyrone and Wicklow.  The winner of the Connacht prize, Maitilde Warsop from Galway, was also selected as the winner of the overall prize for the best translation in the country.

Speaking at today’s awards ceremony, Jack Chambers TD, Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport, congratulated this year’s winners and remarked that this competition provides those who participate in it with ‘an introduction to translation.’  He spoke of the opportunities available in the EU institutions to those fluent in Irish and said that ‘the use of Irish at official level is central to the efforts underway to ensure that the language will be used by generations to come.’

Seán Hade, Head of the Irish Language Department at the European Commission, remarked upon the ‘significant achievement’ by this year’s candidates, in particular given the additional obstacles they faced due to the virtual nature of the competition. He said that the candidates should be ‘very proud’ of what they had achieved and that he found the high standard and level of accuracy displayed by the winners in their translations ‘uplifting’. He commended all participating students and their teachers on their work and concluded by saying that he hoped their efforts would inspire the candidates to consider a career in translation in the future.

The Contest

This was the fourth edition of 'Aistritheoirí Óga', the annual translation contest organised jointly by the European Commission and the Irish Government. The contest has three goals: to promote a high standard of Irish, to encourage multilingualism among secondary school students and to encourage their interest in linguistic professions. 

62 students from 28 schools took part in this year's contest and students translated from English, French, German and Spanish to Irish.

There are six categories in the competition: a prize for the best translation from each province, an overall prize for the best translation across the island of Ireland, and a prize for the best translation from a language other than English.

The list of 2021 winners:

The best translation across the island of Ireland:

Maitilde Warsop,  Coláiste Chroí Mhuire

The best translation (English to Irish) from Connacht

Maitilde Warsop, Coláiste Chroí Mhuire

The best translation (English to Irish) from Leinster

Saoirse Ng, Coláiste Chilliain

The best translation (English to Irish) from Munster

Rebecca Ní Dhúil, Meánscoil Bríd Naofa

The best translation from (English to Irish) Ulster

Séamas Ó Fearáin, Scoil Iósaef

The best translation from a language other than English

Alanna Plunkett, Coláiste Chraobh Abhann (translation from Spanish to Irish).

Background to the competition

The first edition of the contest was launched in October 2017. It is open to pupils who are at least 15 years of age.

The competition is part of a wider effort to raise awareness of the importance and benefits of the status of the Irish language as an official language of the European Union. Council Regulation 2015/2264 set out that the Irish language will have full status as an official language of the European Union by 2022 and that all legislation which is enacted in the Union will be translated into Irish from that date (as is already the case for the other 23 official languages). For that reason, the EU institutions are looking for more staff with Irish to do the work necessary to fulfil the obligations arising from granting full status to Irish.


Publication date
30 April 2021