Tipperary Students honoured by Austrian ambassador

Tipp students honoured

Karen Steenson, Austrian Ambassador Helmut Freundenschuss, Denis Moskalenko, German teacher Martina O’Reilly, Ulrike Schöller of the Irish Austrian Society, Niall Gannon and Brian Lacey

Three High School students were recently honoured at an awards ceremony at the residence of the Austrian Ambassador, Helmut Freundenschuss, in Ailesbury Road, Dublin.

Brian Lacey and Niall Gannon won first and second place respectively (Transition Year Category) in a National German Essay competition titled ‘’Für und Wider Kunstschnee in den Alpen’’ - For and against Artificial snow in the Alps.

Brian, son of Eamon and Joan Lacey from Clonmel, wrote a factual essay on how years ago people linked global warming to distant locations such as the Amazon rainforests and Antarctica. However climate change is moving closer to home and is having a detrimental effect on our planet.

He argued that even though artificial snow is a decision at local, regional and national level, the consequences of this decision are felt on a global scale. If the economies of the developing countries put their economic interests before environmental issues, the result is a global issue that we all should be concerned about.

For his unique and heartfelt essay, Brian received The Perpetual Dubsky Environment Trophy plus a two-week scholarship comprising air travel, tuition in German, board and accommodation at ISK – International Sprachkurse in Salzburg, which is a well-known centre for students of German under the patronage of the University of Salzburg.

Niall, son of Martin and Olga Gannon from Piltown, decided to take a creative approach to writing his essay and used two snowmen as a metaphor to emphasise the pros and cons of artificial snow.

Although his artificial snowman lived longer, the environmental consequences were detrimental and children still prefer playing and building snowmen with real snow.

Denis Moskalenko, a Third Year student, was thrilled to discover his essay titled Eine Schifffahrt an der Donau - A boat trip on the river Danube - won second prize in the Junior Category.

This was Denis’s first experience of writing a creative essay in the German language and he was thrilled to attend the awards ceremony with his parents Sergiy and and Natalya Moskalenko.

The nationwide essay competition is organised annually by Ulrike Schöller of the Austrian Irish Society and the essays are corrected by university lecturers.

This year the competition celebrated its 20th anniversary and High School Principal Karen Steenson and German teacher Martina O’Reilly were delighted to attend the awards ceremony, with High School students coming away with three of the six awards presented.