Plain English Awards

February 8, 2019

The winners of the Plain English Awards will be announced at 1pm on Monday 11 February, at a ceremony in Dublin. The awards are organised by the National Adult Literacy Agency and they are sponsored by Mason Hayes & Curran.

The aim of the awards is to reward organisations that communicate clearly and to promote the use of plain English in all public information.

Building on the success of the first awards in 2016, this year’s awards has five categories, including one for the public called ‘Best letter or email rewritten in plain English’. This category was open to members of the public to rewrite in plain English a confusing letter or email they received from an organisation.

There are also four categories that organisations or businesses from any sector can enter.

Category 1. Best letter or email rewritten in plain English

Category 2. Best use of plain English by an organisation

Category 3. The impact of using Plain English

Category 4. Champions of plain English

Category 5. Plain English in the digital world


The Awards are being held at the Presidents Hall at the Law Society of Ireland, Dublin.

About plain English

Plain English is a style of presenting information that helps you understand it the first time you read or see it. Plain English gives us information in a language we can understand and helps us to make informed choices. It is particularly important to provide information in plain language for people with literacy difficulties. Plain English can also save organisations time and money as clearer information is shown to reduce mistakes and complaints.

NALA’s Plain English Awards come at a time of increased focus on the importance of plain language. Fine Gael TD Noel Rock introduced a Plain Language Bill in the Dáil last week. Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin also introduced a Plain Language Bill in the Seanad. Both parties have been working with NALA to develop the Plain Language Bill. The Plain Language Bill aims to ensure that all information for the public from Government and State bodies is written and presented in plain language.


For media queries, please contact: Patrick Gleeson, Communications Officer, National Adult Literacy Agency: 01 412 7916 or 086 792 5363


About the National Adult Literacy Agency

The National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA) is a charity committed to making sure people with literacy difficulties can fully take part in society. According to the latest OECD international survey in 2012, one in six adults in Ireland has problems reading and writing. Plain English benefits all of us but is particularly helpful for Irish people with low literacy levels.

NALA research has found that almost 95% of Irish adults are in favour of plain English. About half of them (48%) find official documents, including information from the Government difficult to understand. They also find jargon, terms and conditions, and financial information challenging.

About Mason Hayes & Curran

Mason Hayes & Curran is an award-winning law firm with 87 partners providing strategic and commercial legal advice in Ireland. Key areas of expertise include corporate law, financial services law, dispute resolution, real estate and data privacy. The firm advises across a range of business sectors including energy, healthcare, technology, real estate and banking.Part of our service commitment is to ensure that our legal advice is clear and accurate. The success of our business depends on the success of our clients. And both are connected to the prosperity and well-being of the community in which we operate. As a consequence, we also invest in our society and communities through responsible business practices and through sustained contributions from our resources.

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