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28 May 2022

Longford pupil wins national art competition with hard-hitting poster message

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude!” by Matthew Yacob wins National Disability Authority’s Someone Like Me national art competition

Longford pupil wins national art competition with hard-hitting poster message

Matthew Yacob, a pupil at St Teresa’s National School, Killoe, with his winning entry “The only disability in life is a bad attitude!” Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

A sixth Class pupil from Longford has today been announced as this year’s winner of the National Disability Authority’s Someone Like Me national art competition.

Matthew Yacob, a pupil at St Teresa’s National School, Killoe, impressed the judges with a hard-hitting message conveyed through a creative and colourful poster portraying a number of drawings of individuals with varying abilities, concluding that “The only disability in life is a bad attitude!”.

Double success for Killoe pupils in ‘Someone Like Me’

Pupils from St Teresa's National School, Killoe are celebrating after they were chosen as the Junior and Senior County Winners of the prestigious national art competition, Someone Like Me.

Matthew’s winning entry was chosen by the competition’s judges not just for its visual impact, but also for its hard-hitting message which encourages people to adopt a more positive attitude towards people with disabilities. 

Inspired by his older brother who has autism, Matthew observed that you can do anything in life that you put your mind to.  Matthew’s brother enjoys soccer, plays the drums and likes singing too. Because of this, Matthew wants us all to know that “The only disability in life is a bad attitude!”.

Brothers and best buds! Winner of the National Disability Authority’s Someone Like Me national art competition, Killoe NS 6th class pupil Matthew Yacob (left) pictured with his older brother Jacob Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

The prestigious competition which is now in its sixth year is a national celebration of the things that unite children of all abilities, developing more positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities. 

This year’s competition attracted over 1,800 entries from primary school pupils and their teachers right across Ireland, bringing the total number of children who have taken part over the last six years to more than 8,000. 

Once again, the national final saw more than 40 primary schools gather together online for a special virtual ceremony which celebrated each and every one of the finalists’ entries, culminating in the announcement of the national winner. 

Congratulating Matthew Yacob on his success, Minister of State with special responsibility for disability, Anne Rabbitte TD, said that she was impressed by the number and high quality of this year’s entries.

“I would like to congratulate Matthew Yacob and his teacher Gráinne Fox on their success. Matthew used his brother’s experience to create an entry containing an important and challenging message for us all, one that provides pause for thought in relation to our attitudes towards people with both physical and invisible disabilities. Matthew’s positive and inclusive outlook is something I really admire and I hope it makes people sit up and take notice of how they think about disability."

Brothers and best buds! Winner of the National Disability Authority’s Someone Like Me national art competition, Killoe NS 6th class pupil Matthew Yacob (right) pictured with his older brother Jacob Picture: Finbarr O’Rourke

Helen Guinan, chairperson of the National Disability Authority, added her congratulations:

“Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s Someone Like Me art competition and, in particular, Matthew Yacob.

“The competition is an important part of the National Disability Authority’s work to help develop positive mindsets, a culture of inclusivity and a sense of belonging and connectedness, enabling each and every person in Ireland to feel a valued member of society.”

The competition, which offers a range of prizes up to the value of €750, was open to all primary school pupils from junior infants to sixth class and more than 1,800 entries were received from individual pupils, class groups and whole schools right across Ireland.

Entries ranged from posters and collages to large sculptural installations and multi-media pieces.

Matthew Yacob's winning entry in the National Disability Authority’s Someone Like Me national art competition

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