Nicole Tighe from Gallen Community School, Ferbane, has been named as the winner of the Group 4 category (1st - 3rd year) in this year’s Doodle 4 Google competition.
By Damian Moran
Having faced tough competition from 74 other regional finalists, Nicole won the most public votes of any entry in her age category.
In a special grand final ceremony in Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin, 12 year old Nicole was presented with her award as 12 year old Mia Buckley from Summercove National School from Cork was named the overall winner. Mia’s doodle will go live to millions of users on Easter Monday, 28th March on the Google Ireland homepage.
Mia also received a €5,000 scholarship towards her third-level studies and a Chromebook while her school was presented with a cheque for a €10,000 technology grant while her teacher, Ms. Hallissey will also receive a Chromebook.
This year’s competition was extra special as it was part of Google’s 2016 Commemoration Programme. Students were asked to design a Doodle on the theme ‘Ireland Is…’, to show what Ireland means to them. Mia’s winning doodle, entitled ‘Ireland is a land so green’, uses images of farm life, as well as flowers, sports and music to give the iconic Google logo a creative twist. Describing her doodle, Mia said “Ireland is a land so green with grazing cattle to be seen. Steeped in rich history with music and sports so fine. I love this Irish home of mine.”
Speaking at the Grand Final, Ronan Harris, VP and head of Google in Ireland said, “What a phenomenal year we’ve had for this year’s Doodle 4 Google competition and thank you to all those across the country who entered and congratulations to Mia Buckley our overall winner.
“Mia’s doodle really caught our eye and she really captured Ireland’s rural heritage, as well as our love for music and sports. She did a fantastic job incorporating the Google logo using vibrant colours and a clear design. We were truly impressed and we look forward to everyone else seeing the doodle when it goes live.”
This year’s judging panel included the artist Maser, who began painting graffiti on the streets of Dublin and is now one of Ireland’s leading visual artists working in the urban environment Aideen Howard, director of The Ark, a Cultural Centre for Children and Tomm Moore, co-founder and Creative Director of Cartoon Saloon, who directed the Oscar nominated film The Secret of Kells and the film Song of the Sea. They had the difficult task of selecting the 75 regional finalists for the public vote.
A staggering 271,000 votes were cast this year with the highest number of votes in each class group making it through to the overall final round. From these five group winners, the Google Doodle team then had the difficult task of choosing the overall winner.
The five group winners (including overall winner) in the Doodle 4 Google competition are:
· Group 1 - Niamh Connerton (6), Fermoyle National School, Co. Longford
· Group 2 - Cillian Slattery (8), Ratoath National School, Co. Meath
· Group 3 - Mia Buckley (12), Summercove National School, Co. Cork (Overall Winner)
· Group 4 - Nicole Tighe (12), Gallen Community School, Ferbane, Co. Offaly
· Group 5 - Nicholas Henihan (17), St. Mary’s College, Rathmines, Dublin 6
You can view all the 75 regional finalists’ doodles on www.google.ie/doodle4google.