15 year old Donegal student Annie Coyle wins top Doodle 4 Google prize

15 year old Donegal student Annie Coyle wins top Doodle 4 Google prize
Annie Coyle, a 15 year old student from Letterkenny who is a pupil at St. Bernadette’s Special School in the town was named the overall winner of the fifth annual Doodle 4 Google competition at a special prize-giving ceremony in Dublin earlier today (Monday).

Annie Coyle, a 15 year old student from Letterkenny who is a pupil at St. Bernadette’s Special School in the town was named the overall winner of the fifth annual Doodle 4 Google competition at a special prize-giving ceremony in Dublin earlier today (Monday).

Annie’s prize includes a Chromebook and a €5,000 scholarship towards her further studies. Her school, St. Bernadette’s Special School, will also receive a €10,000 technology grant from Google.

It was a love of all things aeronautical which enabled Annie to win the competition. Her doodle will be seen by millions of users when it appears on the Google Ireland homepage tomorrow – Tuesday, April 16th.

It was a good day for Donegal with Lochlainn Kelly from Scoil Iosagain, Buncrana picking up a category prize in the competition.

The theme of this year’s competition was ‘My invention…’. Annie’s doodle was inspired by airplanes, her favourite invention. She used her creativity to turn the Google logo into a jumbo jet.

Kevin Laughlin, an official Google doodler, travelled from Google’s offices in Mountain View to present Annie with her prizes. Kevin said, “We run Doodle 4 Google competitions in many countries around the world but the Irish Doodle 4 Google is one of the most hotly contested competitions every year. It was difficult to pick the overall winner but in the end I found Annie’s simplicity and restraint delightful and compelling. I can’t wait to see it on the Google Ireland homepage tomorrow!”

John Herlihy, head of Google in Ireland said, “Creativity is the driving force of everything we do at Google which is why I enjoy the Doodle 4 Google competition so much. This year’s theme “My Invention..” really highlighted the potential that Irish children have to drive innovation in Ireland in the coming years. Winning is a fantastic achievement for Annie and we are delighted to help her further her studies with a €5,000 scholarship towards her education.”

All of the Doodle 4 Google finalists were invited to Google for a special event and prize-giving to celebrate their achievements. They also had the opportunity to take part in a doodle workshop with professional doodler Kevin Laughlin.

An expert panel of judges including rugby player Rob Kearney chose the 75 finalists, who went forward to the online public vote in February. Almost 100,000 votes were registered by the public and the doodles with the highest number of votes in each class group made it through to the overall finals. From these five group winners, Kevin Laughlin selected Annie as the overall winner.

The four group winners in the Doodle 4 Google competition are:

Group 1 - Chafia Flynn from Our Lady of Lourdes National School, Bunclody, Co. Wexford;

Group 2 - Aaron Devoy from Scoil Carmel, Firhouse, Co. Dublin;

Group 3 - Lochlainn Kelly from Scoil Iosagain, Buncrana, Co. Donegal;

Group 5 - Patrick Moynihan from St. Clement’s College, Co. Limerick.

The four group winners and their teachers will receive a Google Chromebook computer each.

You can view all the finalists’ doodles on www.google.ie/doodle4google.