National success for all Westmeath students in Croke Park – Westmeath claims three National Prizes

National success for all Westmeath students in Croke Park – Westmeath claims three National Prizes

Ireland’s largest celebration of secondary school entrepreneurs took place in Croke Park at Student Enterprise National Final this week (May 3rd), co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Offices

Students from CBS Mullingar, St. Josephs Rochfortbridge and Moate Community School have all won awards at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals in Croke Park this week, organised by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) for secondary schools.

The students won 2nd place in the Intermediate Category, Best Display in Junior Category and Most Commercial Product in Senior Category and 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., Oisin Geoghegan of the Local Enterprise Offices and Michael Nevin, Chair of the Enterprise Education Committee for the LEOs.


The winning students for Best Display in Junior Category were 1st year students: Katie Hamm & Leya Fox from Moate Community School, who worked under the guidance of their teacher, Louise Costello. Their student enterprise was called: ‘Copperworks’, which is manufacture of unique bookmarks and jewellery fabricated from decorative copper wire.


The winning students who came 2nd in the Intermediate category were 3rd year students: Joshua Smullen, Ciara Doyle and Jack Donoghue from St. Joseph’s Rochfortbridge, who worked under the guidance of their teacher, Mary Marshall.  Their student enterprise was called: ‘JCJ – Get a Grip’, which is the design and manufacture of a cover for the top of Irish Dance Shoes to reduce the risk of slipping.


The winning student for Best Commercial Product in the Senior Category was Jack O’Regan Kenny from Colaiste Mhuire (CBS) Mullingar, who worked under the guidance of his teacher, Eva Acton. His student enterprise was called: ‘MIRR’, which is the invention, design and manufacture of a unique, first to market voice and touch activated smart mirror.


The programme, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the LEOs, had a total of 222 teenage entrepreneurs, aged between 13 and 18, from 78 different enterprises, competing at today’s National Final, with every local authority area represented. 


This year’s Student Enterprise Programme attracted over 26,000 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; “These student entrepreneurs are the future of Irish business and job creation across the country. The skills attained by these young students during the Student Enterprise Programme will be invaluable to these young entrepreneurs and provide them with a fantastic foundation for a future in business. Many congratulations to all the students here today. By making it to Croke Park you have shown you can create and run a business. And congratulations also to their teachers who play such a significant role in sparking and encouraging their entrepreneurial imagination. If these students decide that being an entrepreneur is the path they want to take in their future, I can assure them their Local Enterprise Office will be there to support them every step of the way.”


Christine Charlton, Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Westmeath said: “Congratulations to the students of all three schools on winning this prestigious national award in Croke Park this week, which recognises all their hard work. We have seen over 200,000 students learn how to successfully run a business in the 17 years of the Student Enterprise Programme, thanks to a long-term partnership between local schools and Local Enterprise Offices. This is the first year that Westmeath has brought home a prize in all three categories so judging by this year’s finalists and winners, the future is bright for entrepreneurs here in Westmeath.”


The three main category winners on the day were: ‘Smooth Remove’ from Boherbue Comprehensive School in Mallow, representing Local Enterprise Office Cork North and West (Senior Category Winner), ‘Críos Mhadra’ from Presentation Secondary School in Castleisland, representing Local Enterprise Office Kerry (Intermediate Category Winner), and ‘Specrest’ from Malahide-Portmarnock Educate Together School, representing Local Enterprise Office Fingal (Junior Category Winner).


Awards were presented for intellectual property awareness by the Irish Patents Office and for social media by Essential French. Twenty students in the Senior Category also win a place at the residential ‘Winners’ Business Bootcamp’ over the summer to help them further develop their business skills. Further details about the next Student Enterprise Programme, which begins in September through the Local Enterprise Offices, are available through



For all media information and interview requests with students, please contact your Local Enterprise Office.


Event Information: Student Enterprise Programme National Final (May 3rd, 2019)

Co-ordinated by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities across the country, the Student Enterprise Programme is now in its 17th year. The official website address for the programme is                                                                                                   


As part of its remit, the Local Enterprise Offices aim to foster an enterprise culture among students in Ireland. Students qualify for the National Final via their School or County Final, organised by their Local Enterprise Office. Funding for the programme is provided by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland.


Judging Panels for Student Enterprise Programme National Final 2019

Junior Category:

Ciara Donlon (CEO & Founder of Theya Healthcare)

Fiona Donnelly (Management Consultant and Entrepreneur)

John Byrne (SAOL Mind Coaching)


Intermediate Category:

Caroline McHale (Education Consultant)

John Russell (Russell & Co)

Ciara Clancy (Beats Medical – Winner of Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur competition in 2017)


Senior Category:

Peggy McGlynn (Former Business Adviser in Local Enterprise Office Louth)

Orla O’Carroll (Orla O’Carroll Ltd)

John O’Dea (CEO Tech Ireland)