Joshua and Evan take top prize at National Enterprise Awards

Two students representing Roscommon Community College emerged with the top prize at last week’s Student Enterprise Programme (SEP) Awards in Croke Park. In all, students from the county were successful in four different national categories.

Joshua McCormack and Evan McNeill from Roscommon Community College were inspired from seeing people climbing into wheelie bins to try and compact their rubbish manually and created the ‘McCompactor’ to solve the issue.

McCompactors is a device that enables users to easily compact rubbish in standard wheelie bins. Joshua and Evan took first place in the Senior Category of the Local Enterprise Office-run programme. The steel fabricated device will work on all standard household wheelie bins and they have sold over 100 to date through their social media channels.

As well as winning the overall award, both students also captured the Senior, Social Media and Intellectual Property categories.

Other winners representing Roscommon were ‘Chopping Away’ from St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen, who won the Intellectual property award in the Intermediate Category, represented by Olivia, Rachel and Dean Beirne.

In the Junior Category, the winners were Grasper from Drumshanbo Vocational School in Leitrim. Created by students Freya Whitney, Alexandra O’Looney and Amy Keaveney, their hand-held farm safety tool assists farmers with the opening of slurry tank covers.

The event was hosted by RTÉ’s Rick O’Shea who was joined during the ceremony by Neale Richmond, T.D., Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business as they announced the winners across the three main categories on the day.

A total of 82 finalists were showcased ahead of the announcement of the various winners. The Local Enterprise Office initiative, supported by Enterprise Ireland and local authorities, commenced last September in secondary schools across the country with close to 25,000 students taking part.

The initiative, funded by the Government of Ireland through Enterprise Ireland and delivered by the 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities throughout the country, has seen over 350,000 take part in the programme since it began 21 years ago.