Man of the match in the All-Ireland final Gearoid Hegarty has helped two of his Desmond College pupils – Rebecca Enright and Emma O' Shea – with their anti-bacterial face shield for hurling helmets
A NATIONAL League medal, Celtic Cross and being hot favourite for Hurler of the Year isn’t enough for Gearoid Hegarty in 2020 – he now has his sights set on the Young Scientist competition!
“Hego” to his teammates, it is Mr Hegarty to his students in Desmond College, Newcastle West, two of whom have designed a polarised, anti-bacterial face shield for use with hurling helmets. It is one of the school’s 10 entries in the upcoming BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.
It is the brainchild of transition year students Emma O'Shea, Rathkeale, and Rebecca Enright, Knockaderry. And who better to seek advice from than one of the best hurlers in the land?
Principal of Desmond College, Vourneen Gavin Barry said they have a great team of teachers and all are actively involved in helping and supporting their students in whatever way possible.
“Donal Enright is the lead teacher involved in mentoring our students in the BT Young Scientist Competition and has brought great success to us each year. However, this year, Gearoid Hegarty has got involved and has been helping the girls to test their helmet.
“Gearoid is a great young teacher and a fabulous asset to our school community. He is such an inspiration to all of us, both staff and students. It is wonderful for our students to have such a hero in their midst each and every day. We are very proud of him,” said Ms Gavin Barry.
Emma and Rebecca came up their idea during the pandemic when playing team sports was stopped due the restrictions in the first and second lockdowns.
“We decided that there should be a product to keep hurlers and camogie players safe during matches and training.
“To our advantage, hurlers already wear helmets so we thought that an attachment would be the best way to go forward. To bring our product to the next level we then decided to put a polarised layer upon the perspex.
“Unfortunately, the perspex began to fog up so we developed a unique anti-fog treatment that we called ‘Zero Fog’.
“We also sprayed a hydrophobic solution on the outside of the shield to repel raindrops and prevent rain from gathering on the shield,” said Emma and Rebecca.
The students have been aided in the testing of their product by Mr Hegarty. Young Scientist co-ordinator, Mr Enright said who better to offer advice to the students than the two time All-Ireland winning hurler.
“The students involved this year are from first, second, transition and fifth year, both individual and group projects.
“The fact that we have so many projects get accepted is down to the hard work of our entire teaching staff and encouragement from our principal, Vourneen Gavin Barry,” said Mr Enright.
The bookies have Gearoid as 1/50 to be named the best stickman in the country but what odds a Hurler of the Year and Young Scientist double?