A SCHOOL with an amazing record in the BT Young Scientist competition gave a hero's welcome to its three latest national champions.
The 2013 Young Science and Technology winners Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Emer Hickey were cheered to the rafters by pupils at Kinsale Community School (KCS) in Co Cork.
The trio, all aged 15, received a special tribute from their classmates and principal Sean O'Broin for their victory at the RDS last weekend when their project on seed germination took the overall honour.
Both Ciara and her fellow national champion, Sophie, also won awards at the 2011 Young Scientists exhibition.
Ciara's mother, Maureen, said the family were "absolutely thrilled" and revealed that the work meant the spare room in their home was transformed into a seed lab.
Sadly, Ciara's grandfather, Denis Harrington (95), died of a stroke just 24 hours before his grand-daughter's triumph.
The school has an incredible record – it is the third time in seven years that it won the overall national title.
The school proudly held the joint record this year for the greatest number of entries and had a total of 38 students participating in the competition.
In a remarkable twist, Ciara's older sister, Ashling, was the 2006 Young Scientist national champion.
Mr O'Broin said that KCS was very proud not only of its three overall winners but every student who participated in the competition.
The three KCS girls will now travel to the Czech Republic in September where they will represent Ireland at the 25th European Young Scientist exhibition.