For Newtownbutler Primary School student, Barry Hutchinson, there is one item that goes everywhere with him; his pocket dictionary. And it has served him well as he has been crowned “Champion Speller” in the 2019 Eason Spelling Bee Ulster Final.

Barry saw off competition from the winners of the other eight counties in Ulster having already won the Fermanagh title and now he is off to Dublin to compete in the All Ireland final against the winners of the other three provinces.

In the Ulster final, that was held in Easons in Belfast, Barry took the title with his winning word “chameleon”, enough to claim the crown.

Other words that the young Newtownbutler Primary School student had to spell in that final included “bibliography” and “tapenade”. The latter Barry helpfully explains means mashed olives.

“I didn’t know what it meant but I was able to spell it,” Barry explained.

Barry also revealed that he is an avid reader and has a number of classic novels, as well as some more modern stories, among his favourites:

“I love to read. My favourite books are Oliver Twist by Charles Dickins or any of the Harry Potter books. Oliver Twist is fantastic, it just makes you want to read on and on page after page.”

For one of his latest Christmas presents Barry received a somewhat unique present:

“I got a dictionary for Christmas and it was brilliant. I flick through it and if I see an interesting word I stop and read it and then maybe I will read the whole page after that.”

Barry brought the dictionary into the Impartial Reporter offices and we can confirm that it is quite the size, and more importantly it has been well and truly thumbed through.

In conclusion Barry wanted to say a thank you to a few people:

“I want to thank all my classmates who have been so supportive and also my parents as well.”

Barry will now compete in the All Ireland final on June 13 and as we would expect he has been reading his dictionary day in and day out to try and bring that title back to Fermanagh.