Birthday Wishes and Recalled Award Winning Essay

Katie Prendiville (centre right) with friends, from left: Maggie Prendiville-Keane, Linda O’Connor and Joanna Kerley in Kearney’s Bar on Thursday night. ©Photograph: John Reidy
National Information Day on Disability 2005 Kerry area Essay winner, Katie Prendiville from Kilcusnin, Castleisland. Katie, a pupil at the local Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, is pictured here with her proud principal, Marie O’Connor and a printed copy of her work.  ©Photograph: John Reidy 22/12/2005

I met my old pal David Dauber Prendiville out for a pint in Kearney’s Bar last night after Mike Roche’s funeral.

There too was a small group of friends helping Katie Prendiville to quietly celebrate her 24th birthday.

Award Winning Essayist

I recalled that Katie had won an essay competition while she was at the Muire Gan Smál primary school here in Castleisland.

I reminded her of it and she told me she hasn’t written a line on anything since.

That was in December 2005 and she was the Kerry winner of the Primary Schools Essay competition to mark National Information Day on Disability 2005 which was promoted by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform at the time.

Wrote with Warmth

For her award winning essay, Katie focused on her Nan who was one of the many polio victims of that generation.

Katie wrote with great warmth about her Nan and about their close relationship. Her Nan died in 2002.

The following is Katie’s award winning essay from 2005.

In this class we are all able bodied. My Nan had a disability. She was twenty-one when she got polio. But until the day she died she was as healthy as a person without polio. She died when she was eighty. She was a great person.

She loved to play cards and she always wanted to run but she never could.

But instead she tried different things. She liked to excercise her hands by passing a ball.

She loved to be helpful. She rolled the wheels of her wheelchair, which was very good. In all her life she never could go upstairs in my house.

I had lots of fun in the summertime. I wheeled her around the yard. But when winter kicked in, we sat near the fire watching the television. She had a lot more exercise for her hands like knitting. She knitted a scarf for me and she liked lots more activities, like writing letters, reading and she helped us with our homework. She used to tell us stories.

Her polio wasn’t that bad until the twenthieth of March 2002. She got it very bad and died peacefully.

Happy Birthday Katie and many more of them.

And Dauber is in topping form and waiting for his application forms for citizenship in Cordal.

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