Top Student Enterprise Awards for Offaly, South Dublin and North Cork Teens

The top category awards at this year’s Student Enterprise Awards National Finals (held on April 22nd 2015), organised by the Local Enterprise Offices, have gone to enterprising teens from Offaly, South Dublin and North Cork.

16-year-old Shíofra Ryan from Offaly took the overall Senior Category prize for ‘An Tionchar’, meaning ‘Impact’ in Irish, which has patent-pending designs on a boot for hurling and camogie players. The transition year student from St. Brendan’s Community School in Birr is already in discussions with manufacturers, to produce her invention on a bigger scale.

Student Enterprise Awards Senior Winner

The Intermediate Category, which is open to second and third year students, was won by Dara Ward from ‘My GAA Journey’ of Coláiste Eanna in South Dublin.

Student Enterprise Awards

The top prize in the Junior Category, for first year students, went to Mary O’ Leary, Eva Fitzgibbon and Ciara Litchfield from  ‘Bring a Fairy Home’ at St. Mary’s Secondary School, Charleville in North Cork.

Student Enterprise Awards

Co-ordinated by all 31 Local Enterprise Offices across Ireland, the 13th Annual Student Enterprise Awards National Final in Croke Park saw 300 student entrepreneurs showcase 74 different businesses, across Junior, Intermediate and Senior Categories.  17,000 students from 370 schools take part in the programme every year.

Awards for Innovation, Best Display, Intellectual Property Awareness and Social Media were also presented to schools as part of the €10,000 prize fund.

The Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Mr.  Damien English T.D., presented the awards on stage in Croke Park, saying: “ It is important that we continue to develop links between the education system and the real economy, so that school leavers are equipped with the skills, expertise and practical knowledge of business operations that will enable them to consider self-employment as a career option.”

Minister English added: “It is extremely satisfying to see entrepreneurship as a career option for students becoming more mainstreamed thanks to the cumulative impact of programmes such as the Student Enterprise Awards, run so successfully by the Local Enterprise Offices.  The enthusiasm of the winners – and all participants – should be acknowledged as well as their ingenuity and “can do” attitude which gives great hope for this Country going forward.  By supporting the aspiring entrepreneurs of today, the Local Enterprise Offices are fostering the job creators of tomorrow.”

Stephen Walshe, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee with the Local Enterprise Offices, praised the work of the students and schools, adding: “Every year, the Student Enterprise Awards encourage students from all over the country, to develop new enterprise concepts and products, learning about the business world in a ‘hands on’ way. Now that they’ve started their entrepreneurial journey in the classroom, the Local Enterprise Offices are there to help them with their aspiring businesses in the future too.”

Kieran Comerford, the Chair of the Network of Local Enterprise Offices, delivered the opening address at the ceremony in the Hogan Suite. Last year's Junior Category Winners, 'Sheep Watch' from St. Oliver’s Post Primary School in County Meath, told guests about their recent €10,000 crowd funding investment, as well the new prototype for their sheep monitoring collar.

The Social Media Awards were supported by Essential French and the Intellectual Property Awareness Awards were supported by the Irish Patents Office. The 2015/2016 programme starts in September, with full details available at or by searching #studententerprise on social media.

WINNERS: STUDENT ENTERPRISE AWARDS NATIONAL FINALS 2015 Organised by the Local Enterprise Offices (

  • Senior Category First Place & Overall Winner (Senior Category) Winning Business:

An Tionchar

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Offaly

Description: Impact hurling boot with enhanced ankle support, shock absorbent insole and arch support.

School: St. Brendan’s Community School, Birr

Student: Shíofra Ryan

Teacher: John Kennedy

  • Second Place (Senior Category):

Second Place: The Rain Harvester

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Louth

Description: An affordable water collection and filtration system for households

School: Coláiste Ris, Dundalk

Student: Ciaran Boyle

Teacher: Breege Marie Dorrian

  • Third Place (Senior Category):

Third Place: Once Upon A Rhyme

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Westmeath

Description: A range of t-shirts and jumpers with tailor made designs to bring nursery rhymes into the 21st Century

School: Moate Community College

Student: Niamh Murray

Teacher: Lisa Doyle

  • Innovation Award (Senior Category):

Guide a Key

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Limerick

Description: Device to aid guiding a key to keyhole

School: Desmond College, Newcastle Students: Emma Herbert, Eoin Considine, Eamonn Browne, Seamus Hurley, Diarmuid Curtin

Teacher: Donal Enright

  • Best Display (Senior Category): 

Branching Out

Supported by Local Enterprise Award:  Wexford

Description: High quality handmade wooden crafts with a rustic finish

School: St. Mary’s CBS, Enniscorthy

Students: Jason Bolger and Adam Shanahan

Teacher: Aidan Gahan

  • First Special Merit Award (Senior Category):


Supported by Local Enterprise Award: Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown

Description: Liquid and Stain repelling treatment

School: St.Andrew’s College, Blackrock

Students: Yan Li, Rob Tuke

Teacher: Eimear Sloan

  • Second Special Merit Award (Senior Category):


Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Kildare

Description: Gift wrapped grow-it-yourself plant kits

School: Newbridge College

Students: Elliot Davis, Caitlin Breen, Sean Murphy, Chloe Sutton

Teacher: Julie O’Keefe

  • IP Awareness Award, sponsored by Irish Patents Office (Senior Category):

Babe Magnets

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Mayo

Description: Wooden A4 Size picture box frame with metal sheet insert which comes with a magnetic strip for organising make up products.

School: St.Mary’s Convent, Ballina

Students: Lauren Cawley, Katie Clarke, Eileen Barry, Ciara Bourke, Kate Devaney

Teacher: Christina Togher

  • Intermediate Category: First Place & Overall Winner Winning Business:

My GAA Journey

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: South Dublin

Description:  A book that allows young GAA players to track their progress and achievements throughout their sporting career

School: Coláiste Eanna.

Student:  Dara Ward

Teacher:  Paul Conway

  • Second Place (Intermediate Category):

Book Snaps

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Fingal

Description: Book and organisational copy tool

School: Skerries Community School Student: Ryan Corneille

Teacher: Seamus McGowan

  • Third Place (Intermediate Category):

Little Treats

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: West Cork

Description: Artisan sweet treats and online baking tips

School: St.Brogan’s College, Bandon

Students: Lucy Hayes, Julia Chromick

Teacher: Rachel Shaughnessy

  • Innovation Award (Intermediate Category):

Farm Sense

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Kerry

Description: Farm Safety App

School: Killorglin Community College Students: Pádhraic McMahon, Hugh Hurley

Teacher: Mr.Quinlivan

  • Best Display (Intermediate Category): 

Look 2 Cook

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Leitrim

Description: A cookery book with instructions through pictures rather than text, to suit people with reading difficulties

School: St.Clare’s Comprehensive School

Student: Clara Hewston

Teacher: Claire Gallagher

  • IP Awareness Award, sponsored by Irish Patents Office (Intermediate Category):

Sila Lights

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Mayo

Description: Heavy duty light board for farm trailers, to allow trailers to be more visible to drivers and traffic. 

School: Ballyhaunis Community School

Student: Jack Cloney

Teacher: Bernie Osgood

  • Junior Category: First Place & Overall Winner Winning Business:

Bring a Fairy Home

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: North Cork

Description:  Design and manufacture of tooth-fairy homes for children, with dental hygiene message

School: St. Mary’s Secondary School, Charleville

Students: Mary O’Leary, Eva Fitzgibbon, Ciara Litchfield

Teacher: Ann Doherty/ Ger O’Donovan

  • Second Place(Junior Category):


Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Cavan

Description: Handcrafted high quality wood products

School: Royal School Cavan

Students: Sophie Reilly, Daniel Stratford, Rachel Alexander, Barry Stratford

Teacher: Dale Robertson

  • Third Place (Junior Category):


Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Kerry

Description: Mobile App for checking water

School: Intermediate School, Killorglin

Students: Darragh Dennehy, Patrick Crehan, Killian Broderick, Shane O’Sullivan Rouse

Teacher: Orla Courtney

  • Innovation Award (Junior Category):

Recycled Delights

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: South Dublin

Description: A range of decorative items made from recyclable materials

School: Coláiste De hIde

Student: Aaron Murphy Taylor

Teacher: Marcus O’ Leanachain

Best Display (Junior Category): 


Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Wexford

Description: Selection of handmade crafted decorations for all occasions

School: Ramsgrange Community School, New Ross

Student: Lisa Tobin

Teacher: Louise Walshe

  • IP Awareness Award, sponsored by Irish Patents Office (Junior Category):

Chibi Chic

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Kilkenny

Description: Handmade bags with original Chibi (i.e. Japanese cartoon) designs

School: Coláiste Pobail Osrai

Student: Mya Ni Ruiseil

Teacher: Laura Ni Bheoláin

Social Media Awards (sponsored by Essential French):

  • Best Use of Facebook/ Twitter:

Lids for Kids

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Meath

Description: Making colourful hats for children who lost their hair due to chemotherapy

School: St. Peter’s College, Dunboyne

Students: Aoife Byrne and Sean Norman

  • Most Effective Social Media Campaign:

School of Sound

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Carlow

Description: School of Sound is a professional event management service

School: Tullow Community School

Students: Roisin Cullen, Lauren Shannen, Betty Szczeponek, Amy Redmond

Teacher: Brian Larkin

  • Most Creative Use of Social Media:

Instant Cuimhne

Supported by Local Enterprise Office: Kerry

Description: Printing phots as Polaroids School: Presentation Secondary School, Tralee

Students: Lauren Kelly and Maria Daly


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