Student Enterprise Awards at the Lyrath Estate Hotel Kilkenny

Press Release                                                                           12th March 2020

Duiske College Student scoops €1000 prize fund at the Kilkenny County Final of the Student Enterprise Programme

The County Final of the Student Enterprise Programme was held in the Lyrath Estate Hotel Kilkenny on Wednesday last 11th March. The overall award winner in the Senior category April Walsh, a student in Duiske College Kilkenny scooped the overall senior category award. April was presented with a specially commissioned piece of Jerpoint Glass and €1000 prize fund for her project Artistic Adventures, a hand-drawn colouring book with fun characters and doodles that graduate in difficulty, in order to progressively improve colouring skills.

Senior Category Winner April Walsh Duiske College

The Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny also announced the winners in the Intermediate and Junior Category sections.  Aly Cantwell, Ella Cantwell, Rosa White with their business Phone Essentials representing St Brigid’s College Callan won the Junior Category Award

Junior Category Award Winners

Twin brothers Mark and Evan Srouji from Colaiste Eamann Rís were awarded 1st prize in the Intermediate Category for their high-quality handmade Bee and Bug Houses.

Intermediate Category Award Winners- Evan and

It was a great achievement for approximately 125 students reaching the finals stage of the competition from 12 secondary schools across the County. The judges Terry Harmer, NLC Training, Una Ryan, Marketing Eye and Pauline Hoctor, Local Enterprise Office Carlow were involved in the Senior Category Judging while Kathleen Moran, Business Consultant and former managing director Kilkenny Design Centre, Marion Acreman, Kilkenny Chamber President and McDonagh Junction Centre Manger and Conor Cleere, Kilkenny Leader Partnership were involved in the Junior and Intermediate Categories. They had a very difficult task and had to take numerous factors into account, such as business reporting, innovation, market research, risk management and finances. After much deliberation they finally decided on the projects that would go forward to represent Kilkenny at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.

In the senior category other prize winners announced on the day included Locker Dividers from Kilkenny CBS represented by Paul Delaney, Joe Healy, Enda McCabe for their innovative shelf and divider that can be inserted into a school locker in order to organise the contents within and maximise space.

Locker Dividers Senior Category

Third place was awarded to Liam Smyth and Matthew Clarke from Kilkenny College to Staidéar Simplí, an educational business which produces study kits to improve students Irish. 

Third Place Staidear Simpli

There has been a number of changes to the Student Enterprise Programme this year including some new pilot competitions and new awards including #shopkilkenny and Green Award. A new pilot competition entitled “My Entrepreneurial Journey” whereby students had to imagine their life as an entrepreneur at a future stage of their life; highlighting what where they got their business idea, what they learned about the ups and downs of running a business, lessons learned, etc. This competition was won by Nathan Ryan from Colaiste Eamann Rís, Callan and he will go forward to the next stages of the competition.

My Entrepreneurial Journey - Intermediate Award

As part of Kilkenny Council’s Climate Adaptation Strategy, a new award for Best Environmentally Friendly Project has been introduced this year. Bernadette Moloney, Environmental Awareness Officer presented this award to Kate Eacrett and Julie Greene for their project Indigo Bike Indicators from Kilkenny College.

Best Environmentally Friendly Product- Indigo Bike Indicators

Kilkenny County Council also sponsored a prize for the best project that highlighted and creatively pushed the #shopkilkenny message through their marketing materials e.g. posters/flyers and possibly via social media and/or their display etc. The winners of this award from St. Brigid’s College Callan were Aimee O'Brien, Molly Dunne from Luxury and Comfort who made luxury soaps and bath bombs.

Shop Kilkenny Award Winners

The Innovation Award which is sponsored by Institute of Technology, Carlow was awarded to Kilkenny CBS students John O’Brien and Edward Daly who are no strangers to the competition. The pair were part of the winning National Final Intermediate Team in 2018. Their project is a new tool for cleaning cows’ udders after milking as the judges were very impressed with the innovative design and the solution the product was solving for the marketplace.

Best Innovation Award

The Best Branding Award sponsored by the Threesixty was awarded to Kilkenny On Foot – an audio walking tour of Kilkenny featuring information on historical sites, restaurants, cafes and shops. This project was developed by Niall Fitzgerald from Kilkenny CBS.

Best Branding Kilkenny On Foot

The Best Display sponsored by St. Canices Credit Union and presented by Tom McWey went to “Boujee Beach” and the team members Isabelle Ryan, Eabha Ni Lionaird, Caoimhe Daly from St Brigid’s College Callan. Part of their prize is the much sought after prime position in St Canices Credit Union main window in High street for a week.

The Best Display- Sponsored by St Canices Credit Union

A number of other special merit awards were presented at the County Final event including Most Creative Writing to the author Eimear Ryan who wrote a unique adventure book which gives readers a series of options to choose from at the end of each chapter, so that the story can evolve in different ways and have different endings.

Most Creative Writing

The Social Initiative award was presented to the promoter of Candles For, Orey Higgins from Kilkenny College. Loreto Secondary School students Ellie Murphy, Maebh Richardson, Rebecca Lennon received the Product Quality Award for their beautifully framed personalised pebble pictures.

The Social Initiative Award

Special guests at the County Final included Cathaoirleach Cllr Peter Cleere, Mayor Martin Brett, Cllr Deirdre Cullen and Cllr Pat Dunphy and representatives from the generous sponsors IT Carlow, Threesixty and St Canice’s Credit Union. This year the local competition has received great publicity from BEAT 102 103 FM who isited the schools and hosted their Beat Fleet party at the event. Trish Archer from Beat Breakfast also undertook the role of MC at the event.

At the presentation ceremony, Cathaoirleach Cllr. Peter Cleere, Kilkenny County Council congratulated the efforts of the students involved saying “We have a very successful student enterprise programme here in County Kilkenny, with over 700 students from 13 local schools taking part this year. Our national finalists are excellent ambassadors for the programme and we wish them the very best of luck in the next stages of the competition”.

There was a mention for the School of the Holy Spirit who were competing in the competition for the first time and they did not go home empty handed as their teacher’s name Eoghan Fahey was picked by Rosie Dunne Student Co-ordinator in the teachers draw.

The success of the Student Enterprise Programme is down to the entrepreneurial spirit of the students involved and the Head of Enterprise Fiona Deegan congratulated all those who participated in the competition Every year we are blown away by the ideas, the business savvy and the confidence these students have acquired at such a young age.  They really are a credit to their teachers and school staff who have helped to nurture this talent.  The Student Enterprise Programme is growing appeal every year and we hope to see many of these excellent young students coming through the door of their local LEO in the years to come.  We wish today’s winners all the very best as they go on to represent their county at the National Finals.”





For all media queries, please contact the Local Enterprise Office

Catherine Hennessy

Local Enterprise Office Kilkenny

42 Parliament Street