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Sligo students scoop global software award

A device created by Irish researchers that alerts parents if their children are driving dangerously has won a prestigious international award.

The safety tool, which plugs into a car and monitors how the vehicle if being driven, can communicate information back to the owner via text and email messages.

It was created by a team of four researchers from Sligo Institute of Technology, that yesterday won the Imagine Cup -- an international competition sponsored by Microsoft.

The software design competition is aimed at young technologists bidding to resolve some of the world's toughest challenges.

The team was also awarded $20,000 (€14,156) at the Lincoln Centre in New York, beating off stiff competition from more than 400 students from 70 countries.

The device, known as Hermes, will now be developed with the backing of Microsoft.

It means car-owners can stay at home or at work and get information on where their cars are and how it is being driven no matter who is behind the wheel.

The team is comprised of: Aine Conaghan (24), from Ballybofey, Co Donegal; James McNamara (26) from Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon; Calum Cawley (21) from Castlebaldwin, Co Sligo; and Matthew Padden (21) from Ballina, Co Mayo.

Ms Conaghan said: "We can't believe what we've just achieved. The focus in Hermes is on education."

President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott, said: "They are true ambassadors for IT Sligo, and for Ireland."

Irish Independent