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Clare students changing drink culture

TWO Clare students have been shortlisted in a prestigious national student competition. Eric McNamara, from Ennis and Kevin O’Sullivan from Cratloe, are in the running to win prizes in the DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie competition, organised by the alcohol social responsibility organisation drinkaware.ie.

DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie challenges third-level students to develop creative campaigns that highlight responsible drinking.

The shortlisted teams receive up to €2,000 each to implement their proposed campaigns, and each team has been assigned a high-profile champion to mentor and support them over the coming months.

Eight teams have been shortlisted for the 2014 competition, including Eric McNamara and Kevin O’Sullivan’s team, whose project is titled Don’t Ape it – Escape it. Editor of her.ie, Michelle McMahon from Clare, was assigned as their champion.

Eric and Kevin, along with fellow team-members, attended a special media event at the Digital Exchange in Dublin last week when the shortlist was officially announced. Their project is a multifaceted campaign with an interactive mobile application based product with which they intend to make users aware of their drink limits. They are both currently students at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).

Speaking at the shortlisting event, Fionnuala Sheehan, Chief Executive of drinkaware.ie, congratulated Eric and Kevin on their success, and explained the new format of the competition, “The idea behind DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie is that we facilitate students to design and implement responsible drinking campaigns that have a strong focus on peer-to-peer communication.  Essentially, campaigns are being developed by ‘students for students’.  This is a far more effective approach than, for example, having older ‘authority’ figures lecturing students about what they should and shouldn’t do. We are delighted with the quality and creativity of the shortlisted campaign from Clare and around the country.”

The competition will culminate in late April with a gala awards ceremony and showcasing event, at which each team will pitch their accomplishments to a panel of high-profile judges.

The overall winners of the 2014 competition will be chosen by the judges live at the final showcasing event.  The winning team will receive prize-money of €3,000, while the next ttwo best-placed teams will receive prizes of €2,000 and €1,000.

For further information and to keep track of the shortlisted teams’ progress in implementing their campaigns, see: www.DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie .


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