Transition Year Schools Competition Attracts Huge Entry

Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC) is delighted with the response to its inaugural competition for secondary schools, with a total of 34 student teams from schools surrounding the Shannon Estuary submitting entries.  The purpose of the competition, which will be hosted every two years in the future, is to foster greater awareness amongst students of their local region, particularly on the businesses and resources which play an important role in its development. The competition was open to schools in Counties Clare, Limerick and Kerry, as these counties border the Shannon Estuary, and this year’s theme is “The Importance of Ports in the Mid-West Region.”

The format of the competition is specifically designed to facilitate creativity, teamwork and public presentations; the theme chosen for our first competition was designed to introduce the concept  to schools in the region, as well as to allow them to develop an understanding of ports and their function in modern economies. The broad theme allows for students to approach the issue from a number of perspectives, which could include business, geography, environmental science or economics.

As part of this process, the majority of the participating schools availed of the opportunity to visit the port facilities, where they were given detailed tours of the various operations, under the supervision of Captain Hugh Conlon, Community Liaison Officer, and Evelyn Adams, Schools Coordinator.

Denis Bates, TY Coordinator with Limerick CBS  “The Shannon Foynes Port competition has been a wonderful opportunity for our Transition Year Students. We are always looking for new and innovative opportunities within TY and this competition offered us a fascinating new angle on our locality and the Shannon which flows through our midst. We have used the opportunity to explore many issues from the perspectives of different subjects.  Our students have been well motivated to follow up on their research as they prepare their entries for the competition”.

Pat Keating, SFPC added that ‘we are very pleased with the interest shown in our first schools competition. We see this as a vital initiative as part of our mission to engage with the community and region as well as to encourage a greater understanding of the dynamic regional economy, while at the same time providing second level students an opportunity to test their creativity and initiative’.

A panel of independent judges selected the five finalists in December; the finalists will be making a public presentation of their projects at a gala event to be held in the Foynes Flying Boat Museum on 9th February 2014, where the winner will be chosen. This event is open to all contestants, their school colleagues and guardians.


Finalists                                St Patricks Comprehensive Shannon

Salesian College Pallaskenry

Coláiste Mhichíl, CBS, Sexton Street, Limerick

Scoil Mhuire & Ide, Newcastle West

Causeway Comprehensive, Tralee