29 May 2022

Laois student competes at national final

Sarah Daly

Mountmellick's Sarah Daly

Mountmellick Community School’s Sarah Daly competed at the national finals of the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) in Dublin City University (DCU) on Wednesday, March 9th.

The All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad (AILO) will see four winners go on to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad in July, with winners announced next week.. 

Run by ADAPT, the world-leading SFI Research Centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology, the contest challenges secondary school students to apply logic and reasoning skills to solve complex puzzles in unfamiliar languages. 

The 100 national finalists, from 44 schools in 18 counties, have come through preliminary rounds held in schools all over the island in January. More than 3,000 students registered for this year’s contest. 

Competing in individual and team rounds, the finalists are faced with anything from deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics to interpreting ancient Mayan poetry to decoding numerical spy codes.  

The AILO finals see teenagers solve puzzles that require lateral thinking skills and the ability to think outside the box. Students must analyse the data they are given to work out the ‘rules’ of the new language. These transferable skills are critical in preparing young people for a wide range of careers in computing, linguistics and language.  

Four winners from the final will go on to represent Ireland at the International Linguistics Olympiad held on the Isle of Man in July. Speaking about the event, Dr Cara Greene who coordinates AILO said, “We’re delighted to be back hosting students and their teachers at ADAPT in DCU after running the competition both remotely and online for the last two years”. 

The results of the National Final of the All Ireland Linguistics Olympiad will be released next week. Sample puzzles from the Olympiad can be downloaded at:

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