"A tragic tale of the Titanic, marauding Irish pirates, a futuristic diving suit and a stowaway cat "are all the star characters of the winning animations in 2012 Follow the Fleet School's competition.
The Irish Maritime Development Office is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2012 Follow the Fleet schools competition is Scoil Bhrighde Naofa, Northampton, Kinvara, Co. Galway. The school's entry was based on a collecion of letters from passengers on board the Titanic.
The 2012 schools' essay competition, sponsored by Irish Ferries and supported by Ardmore Shipping, BMCI Insurance Brokers and the Port of Cork, received the highest amount of entries to date from primary school children. Since its re-launch, Follow the Fleet is used by 800 primary schools and close to 25,000 school children. It represents the most simple and effective way for children to gain an understanding of the major contribution the maritime industry makes to day-to-day life in Ireland.
This year's "world premier" of the winning Follow the Fleet 2012 animations took place on the 30th of June during the inaugural weekend of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway. The overall winning school and category winners were in attendance and will see their essays come to life on the big screen for the first time. All four animations are narrated by Aidan Doorley of Tom Crean Antarctic Explorer fame. Well-known maritime journalist and correspondent, Tom McSweeney, was the head judge of this year's panel.
The annual competition covers three categories focusing on maritime trade, safety & technology and Irish maritime heritage. School children are encouraged to use their creativity to write imaginative and entertaining submissions in the hope that they will win the ultimate school prize for their class. The winners had their stories brought to life in an animated short movie and posted online on www.followthefleet.ie and http://www.youtube.com/followthefleetIRL
Overall winning class
Scoil Bhrighde Naofa, Northampton, Kinvara, Co. Galway – "Letters from passengers aboard the Titanic." The class were treated to a school tour of the National Maritime College in Cork as well as winning a laptop for their teacher and having one of the letters as written by Hugh Gately, aged 11, animated as part of their prize.
The Irish Maritime Trade category
Donnchadh Barrett, aged 10 of Scoil Naomh Fionan na Rennies, Nohoval, Co. Cork for his entertaining story of an adventurous & resourceful stowaway cat in 'An unexpected trip to France'. Donnchadh's efforts ensured repeated success for his school as they also won a category in the 2011 essay competition.
The maritime history category
Jessica O'Sullivan, aged 8 of Scoil Naomh Eirc, Kilmoyley, Ardfert, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Jessica was one of the youngest entrants an for her story was about "St. Patrick and his kidnapping by Niall of the nine hostages."
The Shipping & Technology Category
David Lalor, aged 11 of Scoil Naomh Peadar, Ballon, Carlow for 'The Newt Suit', his futuristic tale of maritime technology and safety.