Young painters imagine Ireland of the future

From Africa, to futuristic schools, to abstract GAA matches – 15 paintings were shortlisted from thousands of entries at the Sightsavers Junior Painter of the Year Awards on Thursday.

The theme for this year’s competition was Imagine 2030, and students from more than 200 primary schools around the country took up their brushes to enter the competition.

They all imagined life in 2030. Some envisaged a dramatic return of dinosaurs, while others focused on world peace.

Erin Sweeney, aged 12, explained: “When the title came up, I just thought of the refugee crisis. You know it’s really sad and it would be good to do a world peace painting. It would be my wish for 2030 to have world peace.”

The prizes were awarded by Sightsavers – a charity which works to eliminate blindness around the world.

It hopes imagining the future will open the eyes of Irish children.

The 15 winning entries will be on display in Dublin over the summer, while the top three have won cash prizes up to €1,000 for their schools.

Overall winner 10-year-old Laura Gavin told Ireland Live News that painting “keeps you calm and you can make really nice pictures, it’s just a nice thing to do.”

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