Cork does it again - Simon’s discovery wins Young Scientist Exhibition

Cork does it again - Simon’s discovery wins Young Scientist Exhibition
Simon Meehan is congratulated by his classmates from Coláiste Choilm Picture: James McSweeney

A Cork student who has potentially discovered a cure for MRSA took home the main prize at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) at the BT in Dublin last night.

Simon Meehan, a 15-year-old student at Coláiste Choilm scooped the main prize for his project which discovered the presence of chemicals within the blackberry plant which could form antibiotics to combat the MRSA infection.

An emotional Simon Meehan celebrates with his teacher and mentor Karina Lyne from Coláiste Choilm Picture: James McSweeney
An emotional Simon Meehan celebrates with his teacher and mentor Karina Lyne from Coláiste Choilm Picture: James McSweeney

Inspired by his herbalist grandfather, Simon said he couldn't believe when he was announced as the winner.

“I felt almost like a puppet. The hands and feet were moving but you almost feel like it's not you,” he said.

He thanked his fellow students and teacher Karina Lyne and principal Michelle Sliney.

Ms Sliney said it had been an “incredible” few days for the school she was delighted for Simon and described him as a “fabulous young man” who is extremely popular with his classmates.

She added she was proud of all 34 students who took part from the school in 15 separate projects.

The school has had success in the competition before, taking home the best school prize in 2013.

Simon Meehan with his parents Jeremy and Brigid and his younger brother Senan Picture: James McSweeney
Simon Meehan with his parents Jeremy and Brigid and his younger brother Senan Picture: James McSweeney

Simon's teacher Ms Lyne said he was easy to mentor due to his immense work rate and enthusiasm.

“He's one of the most unassuming and popular students. Everyone is delighted with his success.” 

Proud parents Jeremy Meehan and Brigid Lucey attended the ceremony.

“He has worked quite tirelessly for quite a long time on the project and he will continue to work on it irrespective of winning the prize,” said Ms Lucey.

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