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Minister of State Helen McEntee, T.D., presents Science for Development Award



  • Minister of State Helen McEntee, T.D. presents Irish Aid’s Science for Development Award at BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2019.
  • Seán Byrne Wins the Award for “An eggshell filtration system to remove pollutants from water.”


Minister of State for European Affairs, Helen McEntee T.D., presented the Irish Aid and Self Help Africa sponsored “Science for Development” Award to Seán Byrne from Avondale Community College, Wicklow at this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in the RDS this afternoon. Seán Byrne won the Award for his project on “An eggshell filtration system to remove pollutants from water”.

Speaking in the RDS, Minister of State McEntee commented:

“I would like to congratulate Seán Byrne for his well-deserved win today. Seán Byrne’s project excellently highlighted how scientific skills can be harnessed to improve the lives of people in developing countries. The standard at this year’s exhibition was incredibly high and I congratulate all students who produced very impressive projects on development-related themes.”

For 55 years the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition has played a vital role in encouraging Ireland’s young people to realise their full scientific potential. The Science for Development Award encourages teachers and students to develop ideas, using scientific technology that can improve the lives of communities in the developing world.

The Minister said:

“I was really inspired meeting the students on my visit around the exhibition today. I was impressed to see projects which explore the purification and more efficient use of water, the use of plants in medicine, how to create bio-plastics from potatoes and from food waste, and many projects which focus on renewable energy. 

I am particularly delighted to support an award which highlights how science can play such an important role, both in Ireland and abroad, in addressing the many challenges that we share in an increasingly globalised world.  It is really heartening to witness our young people with their teachers, as well as their peers from Kenya and Tanzania, exploring how scientific endeavour can make the world a safer and healthier place.

Ireland has strong links with both Tanzania and Kenya and indeed the negotiation process for the Sustainable Development Goals was successfully co-chaired by Ireland and Kenya. The 2030 Agenda is a universal agenda that applies equally to all countries, to promote development while protecting the planet, and we see this in action here today. Young people, from Ireland, Kenya and Tanzania, are exploring how scientific endeavour can help to make these Goals a reality. I see real value here in harnessing the technological innovation and creativity of our young people to support sustainable development.”



Press Office

11 January 2019

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