Monaghan student scoops Enterprise award

Matthew McVicar's product is already being sold in pharmacies both in Ireland and the UK.

A Monaghan teenager who developed an anti-microbial storage case for face-masks has won top prize at the Student Enterprise Programme National Finals.

Matthew McVicar (16) developed Coppercase after noticing the excessive number of face masks being disposed of as waste in his local community.

The St Macartan's College student says after just three minutes in a Coppercase, a mask will be free from Covid-19 and other viruses and bacteria.

The product is already being sold in pharmacies both in Ireland and the UK.

Coppercase is one of only seven companies in Europe who have this authorisation to place copper on the market as a biocide.

Runners-up at Friday's finals, which was held virtually and broadcast from Croke Park, was Amy's Y2K Vintage Shop from Lough Allen College, Co Leitrim.

The Student Enterprise event was hosted by RTÉ's Rick O'Shea and broadcast live to hundreds of finalists, students and teachers across the country.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar joined the event where he told the finalists that it was an incredible achievement to have made it to the finals given all that has happened in the past year.

"Everyone who took part should be very proud of all that they have achieved. Special mention to their teachers, parents and all those who helped them along the way," he said.

Michael Nevin, chair of the Local Enterprise Office’s Enterprise Education Committee, remarked that it was no surprise to see students respond to the challenges thrown up by the pandemic.

The awards initiative from the Local Enterprise Office began in September and 29,000 students from almost 500 schools took part.

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