29 Nov 2021

Laois secondary school student ideas shine at county enterprise awards - pictures

Secondary school students from across Laois gathered in the Midland's Park Hotel Portlaoise for the annual Laois Local Enterprise Office Student Enterprise Awards.

A young Laois team of three hurlers have a winning solution for untidy hurls and helmets that all mammies will thank them for.
Cousins Simon and Noah Fingleton along with Marc Ramsbottom won the senior award.

The Transition Year students in St Mary's CBS are players on the Ratheniska GAA Minor hurling team.

For their mini company Hurl Standz, they designed and made wall-mounted metal holders.

"Often hurls and helmets are thrown in the corner, so we thought we could make a product that doesn't take up floor space and is light and cheap," said Noah.

They made them in Marc's family's garage, selling them for €15 for a twin hurl holder and €20 for three hurls. They have sold 42, and with word spreading by social media, customers come from as far as Cork and Wexford.

"We are totally surprised and excited to win, we are looking forward to the national final in Croke Park," said Marc.

The three competed with eight other Laois schools, 32 teams in all, in the county final in the Midlands Park Hotel on March 28.

In second place was Ebony Onalimi from Scoil Chriost Rí, for her company Ebony's Kitchen, and in third is MK Stitching; Jake

Kirwan and Darragh Mc Spadden from Mountrath Community School.

Newcomers Dunamase College won the Intermediate category, for their project Rudaí Beag. Second years Sorcha Tiernan, Nisha Cullen, David Jakubowski, Killian Newman and Alexandru Podvisevschii made festive gifts and sold them in Portlaoise Christmas Market. They will represent Laois at the final in their category.

The Creative Design award was won by Jessica McDarby, Colaiste Iosagain Portarlington for her Personalised Hand Painted Shows. The Technology award went to Portlaoise College for Game Changer Kits, the team being Caoimhe Dunne, Jade Brennan, Norbert Burnos, Nathan Dowling and Alomide Olotu.

The Innovation award was won by the Mountmellick Community School team Magic Fairy Doors, of Arianne Conroy, Taylor Culliton Conroy, Eve Tarpey, Aimee Cousins and Joshua Gill.

Photographer Michael Scully caught the event on camera.

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