Stories of Wicklow writers feature in Ireland’s Own anthology

THE 13th Anthology of Short Stories and Memoirs from Ireland has just been published and two writers from Co. Wicklow are included among the 40 winners and highly commended entries in Ireland’s Own long-running writing competitions.

Onnie Simpson of Rectory Slopes in Bray won a runner-up in the Beginners Short Story section with ‘Friendly Fire’, a story of perceived romantic betrayal by a best friend, but all may not be as it seems.

Simpson has always worked in public relations, but has scaled back her work in recent years to focus more on creative writing. He says he is working on a novel, while being supported by his wife Gail and two adult daughters.

Bernadette O’Neill of Glenvale Park in Wicklow town is also featured with the intriguingly titled memoir ‘The Cat and the Crocodile’.

In the story, the cat takes an instant dislike to an exotic visitor from Africa.

Bernadette was born in Galway and raised as an only child in the village of Newcastle, County Wicklow, until her early teens when the family moved to Wicklow town, where she still lives with her husband Tony. Her passions in life are reading, music and singing, walking and playing tennis (badly!)

The stories in Ireland’s Own Anthology cover many facets of Irish life, including the ever-recurring themes of bereavement, emigration, love of home and often complicated love stories.

Memories recall long-gone street fairs, conversations with a 102-year-old mother, funerals during the pandemic, an innocent Catholic boy’s first experience of July 12 orange parades in Northern Ireland, And much more.

This year’s foreword is provided by award-winning and international bestselling author Colm Toibin.

The anthology is published by Ireland’s Own, part of the Mediahuis group (Ireland). It is available online at or from Ireland’s Own at Channing House, Rowe Street, Wexford. Email:; Tel: 053 91 40140 (abroad on 00353 5391 40140).

Ireland’s Own, the popular family magazine, has been published in the town of Wexford continuously since November 1902 and continues to thrive in its 120th year.