TRANSITION Year students from Maria Immaculata College in Dunmanway took a first place Special Merit award at the National Student Enterprise Awards last week in Croke Park.
The four member Citosc team (Ryan Croke, Conrad Crowley, Paraig Galvin and Peter Deane) produced a Virtual Reality headset, The Virtualis which uses the power of a smartphone to provide an affordable virtual reality experience.
The students made the headlines last week in the run-up to the finals with their viral video of Ryan’s grand-aunt Ettie Carroll using the VR headset.
The Dunmanway woman’s hilarious reaction to a virtual reality rollercoaster game was viewed almost 55,000 times. The Southern Star was first to pick up on the story, which has since been shared all over the world, with the students being approached by a number of international news outlets to air their video.
The Enterprise Awards were organised by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices, and a record-breaking 22,000 students from 620 schools set up and managed real-life businesses as part of the biggest student enterprise programme in the country. Speaking of the West Cork students’ award, Kevin Curran of the Local Enterprise Office West Cork said: ‘We are thrilled for the Dunmanway pupils and are extremely proud of them. This is the third time in three years that West Cork has achieved a top prize in these competitive awards, so it is a huge boost to the region. This year’s competition was also the toughest the judges had ever seen.’