March 18, 2015

Students from Desmond College assembled along with over 100 students from twenty Limerick post primary schools last Thursday to compete for prizes in the 2015 Student Enterprise Awards held in the South Court Hotel. This was indeed a historic event as it heralded the inaugural competition of what were known as the City and County Enterprise Boards, Mayor Kevin Sheehan commented on the fact that as he opened the prize giving.

Over 30 schools were involved on the day with a diverse range of products, services on offer. A majority of those involved had already been short listed to participate by their schools such was the demand for places, Limerick Enterprise Board with the cooperation of Mr Garry Lowe have been assisting schools since September 2014 in preparation for the finals. Thursday the 12th was the culmination of their efforts where the students set up their stands and prepared their pitches for the judges that reviewed their products/ services, following intense questioning the judges selected winners in Junior (first year), Intermediate (2nd & 3rd Year) and Senior (TY, 5th & 6th Year) categories to represent Limerick in the National Finals to be held in Croke Park on April 22nd.

Heather Supple (Limerick Enterprise Board), Mayor - Kevin Sheehan, Emily Duffy and Eamonn Ryan (CEO Enterprise Board)

Desmond College have a proud tradition in this competition, having won the overall award on three previous occasions, but to be selected to represent all of Limerick in both the Intermediate and Senior sections was recognition of the work by the students and teachers of this Newcastle West post primary school.

In the Intermediate Section, Emily Duffy of Knockaderry with her project “The Duffily Bag”, a solution to homelessness previously exhibited at the BT Young Scientist Competition and featured in the Business Boot Camp in University of Dublin was delighted to be selected, Emily on winning stated that “it was a great achievement and reward for months of hard work” and that she was looking forward to representing her county in the upcoming All Ireland Finals.

Emma Herbert – Managing Director of Guide a Key – winners of the senior section, who have designed and manufactured a device that assists people with limited manual dexterity in inserting a key into any standard lock, stated that she and her fellow directors Diarmuid Curtin, Eamonn Browne, Seamus Hurley & Eoin Considine were delighted to have been chosen from over thirty companies. Guide a Key were selected for their innovation, display, business plan and interview to participate in the All Ireland Finals.

The senior students are transition year students in Desmond College, where Enterprise is just one of the modules they work on all year, the students weren’t the only enterprise representing Desmond College on the day, BSafeBSeen another group represented by Cillian McMathon, Jack O Connor, Patreeze Nugent, Claire Mortell and Managing Direct Conor Reidy were represented on the day as well, receiving favourable comments from the judges and public alike.

Eamon Browne, Eamonn Ryan (CEO Enterprise Board), Seamus Hurley, Kevin Sheehan (Mayor),Emma Herbert, Heather Supple (Limerick Enterprise Board), Eoin Considine