National success for County Kilkenny students in Croke Park

All participating Kilkenny students were winners at the National Final this year, with the project Life Arm Assist project from CBS Kilkenny scooping the first prize in the Intermediate category. Students from Coláiste Éamann Rís Callan were presented with Best Display in the Junior Category while Kat Food project also from CBS Kilkenny won the Special Merit Award in the Senior category. The students were presented with their awards on stage by the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen T.D. and Sheelagh Daly of the Local Enterprise Offices.

SEP IntermediateThe winning students in the Intermediate category were: Edward Daly, John O’Brien and Matthew O’Sullivan who worked under the guidance of their teacher, Mr Pat Downey to develop their awarding winning innovative product “Life Arm Assist”. They developed an innovative hydraulic ram that replaces the life arm stabilizer on the back of a tractor. It has been developed as a labour saving device but also reduces the incidence of serious accidental injury.

In the Senior Category, the Special Merit award was presented to KAT Food project developed by Conor McCarthy and the late Colm Dunne, under the guidance of Ms. Anna Culleton also from CBS Kilkenny. These students published a compilation of healthy, easy recipes from our favourite hurling and camogie stars. KAT Food cookbook arose as a combination of respective interest from Conor & Colm - Colm has a passion for GAA and Conor has an interest in culinary skills. Colm who sadly passed away recently was proudly represented by his brother Peter at the National Final.

Working under the guidance of Ms. Emer Hickey from Coláiste Éamann Rís, Callan the Junior Category award winners are: Jack O'Shea, Jim Power and Nathan Ryan who won Best Display for their hot chocolate products.

The programme, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the LEOs, had a total of 230 teenage entrepreneurs, aged between 13 and 18, from 77 different enterprises, competing at the National Final, with every local authority area represented.

This year’s Student Enterprise Programme attracted 23,600 student participants from 480 secondary schools around the country. Starting every September, the enterprise education initiative helps students gain the skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business.

Congratulating this year’s winners and their schools, Minister Breen said: “Whether it’s generating business ideas, developing markets or selling to customers, students taking part in the Student Enterprise Programme throughout Ireland have consistently shown a passion and flair for business and enterprise.  Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the Irish economy and initiatives such as the Student Enterprise Programme are key to developing Ireland’s future enterprising culture. I’d like to congratulate this year’s winning students and schools.  I hope their success will inspire more schools to sign-up for the next programme in September through their Local Enterprise Office.”

Fiona Deegan, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny said: “Congratulations to the students of CBS Kilkenny and Coláiste Éamann Rís on winning these prestigious national awards in Croke Park this week, which recognises all their hard work. Thanks to the support of teachers from over 480 schools, including 14 local schools here in County Kilkenny, the Student Enterprise Programme links in with the school curriculum around enterprise in the classroom and really helps students gain skills and practical knowledge of running a real-life business. The programme also encourages more students to consider entrepreneurship as a future career choice, with Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny on hand to help.”

SEP Senior

 SEP Junior

Further details about the next Student Enterprise Programme, which begins in September, are available through