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Drogheda Students Win Young Economist of the Year Award

A group of fifth-year students from Our Lady's College, Greenhills, Drogheda have been named as the overall winners of the PDST Young Economist of the Year award 2021. Amy Bellew, Aoibheann NiFhearaigh, Osarugue Loveth Edomwande, Abby Rice, Sophie Begley and Lois O'Hare received first place for their project titled “Imperial Economics - The Winds of Change”. The project was selected out of 1000 entries from over 200 schools nationwide. The online award ceremony was attended by Michael McGrath T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and Sharon Donnery, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank.

The students from Our Lady's College, Greenhills, Drogheda won the overall prize for their research project into the economic policies of Great Britain in the early 20th Century explored through the lens of the Disney musical “Mary Poppins”. The project also analysed modern-day banking, exploring issues surrounding income, gender and class inequality. A member of the judging panel, Professor Rowena Pecchenino, from the Economics Department at Maynooth University, described the student's project as “outstanding in its creativity and teamwork”.

Two other special interest prizes were also awarded. The Central Bank of Ireland Award for projects with a focus on monetary policy or the Irish Economy was presented to Luke Diggin, a fifth-year student from Killorglin Community College, Co. Kerry for his project titled “What impact have central banks and monetary policy had on inequality?”. The Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES) Award, for projects with a focus on government economic policy, was presented to Saskia Kirkland, a sixth-year student from St Andrews College, Booterstown, Co. Dublin. Kirkland’s explored “income inequality throughout the pandemic”.

Now in its 8th year, the Young Economist of the Year is a national award for the promotion and understanding of economics for second-level students. Students from across the country are invited to submit a research project on a topic of their choice. Ciara O'Donnell, National Director of the PDST, congratulated both the students and teachers who entered this year’s competition:

“The PDST is incredibly proud to lead an initiative that showcases the great thinking and inquiring minds of those young people who will shape our society and economy into the future. We are most grateful to them and to their fantastic teachers for their commitment to this project, which is all the more exceptional and commendable during what has been a most challenging period in the history of schools and education.”

The PDST Young Economist of the Year is an initiative of the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) supported by members of the Irish Economics Association (IEA) the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES), the Central Bank of Ireland, the Department of the Environment, Climate & Communications (DECC), the Economics and Social Research Institute (ESRI) the BSTAI, Laois Education Support Centre and the economics and education departments in Maynooth University, NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, Trinity College Dublin and the University of Limerick and Munster Technological University.

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