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Tackling food waste in Fingal as students come up with a novel ideal at Balbriggan ‘Hackathon’

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Principal Maedhbh Daltún, Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Seána Ó Rodaigh, Students, Síofra Nic Mánais, Ruaidhrí Ó Baoill Cathal Mac Aoidh and Alisha Ní Riain, with TY teacher, Fiona Ní Churraoin and FCC Rep Aishling Hyland.

Principal Maedhbh Daltún, Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Seána Ó Rodaigh, Students, Síofra Nic Mánais, Ruaidhrí Ó Baoill Cathal Mac Aoidh and Alisha Ní Riain, with TY teacher, Fiona Ní Churraoin and FCC Rep Aishling Hyland.

Principal Maedhbh Daltún, Mayor of Fingal Cllr. Seána Ó Rodaigh, Students, Síofra Nic Mánais, Ruaidhrí Ó Baoill Cathal Mac Aoidh and Alisha Ní Riain, with TY teacher, Fiona Ní Churraoin and FCC Rep Aishling Hyland.

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A group of students from Coláiste Ghlór na Mara have won a prize at Balbriggan’s ‘Hackathon’ for their innovative proposal to tackle food waste through the development of a website to educate people about it.

Alisha Ní Riain, Ruaidhrí Ó Baoill, Cathal Mac Aoidh and Síofra Nic Mánais took part in a Transition Year challenge run by Smart Balbriggan - an initiative of Fingal County Council - for secondary schools in the town.

Over the first week of October, a series of workshops were delivered to the students in collaboration with the Academy of the Near Future and What the Hack - organisations which engage the public in seeking solutions to challenges they face.

Participants were mentored to create innovative solutions to answer the question “How can we build a stronger, cohesive and more vibrant community?”

Ardgillan Community School, Bremore Educate Together Secondary School and Coláiste Ghlór na Mara were among the schools which took part, involving nearly 100 students.

Through workshops, the students learned about how new technology and innovation can improve our community and developed their own creative ideas to tackle local issues.

Finally, the students ‘pitched’ their ideas to a panel of judges with a prize for the best concept.

The team from Coláiste Ghlór na Mara came up with a solution which aimed to tackle food waste with the development of a platform to educate people about food waste and meal preparation - prompting them to make changes to their food consumption habits.

Balbriggan is Ireland’s first town to be named as a Smart District and a core focus of this will be to enhance community life, support economic opportunities and drive innovation through a number of projects.

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Smart Districts are strategically selected geographical locations where targeted smart projects are implemented.

The initiative will also support the delivery of the Our Balbriggan Rejuvenation Plan, which was developed after 4,000 people took part in a public engagement on the future of the town in 2019.

Community is at the heart of Smart Balbriggan, with residents invited to participate in the design and implementation of the programme through workshops, events, surveys and focus groups.

“Is clár iontach é ‘Baile Brigín Cliste’ agus gach rath ar na buaiteoirí ó Choláiste Glór na Mara a tháinig ar réiteach nuálach. Bhí sé iontach buaileadh leo,” a deir an Méara Seána Ó Rodaigh.

(“Balbriggan Smart ’is a fantastic program and all the winners from Glór na Mara College have come up with an innovative solution. It was great to meet them,” Mayor of Fingal County Council Seána Ó Rodaigh said.)

“A key focus of the Smart Balbriggan programme is to engage with local young people and this is great example of students considering the challenges facing the town and developing solutions for them,” said Aoife Sheridan, Senior Executive Officer of the Economic, Enterprise, Tourism and Cultural Development Department, Fingal County Council.

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