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Global success for Kerry student at international science fair

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A Kerry student who came up with a novel idea to use artificial intelligence to predict the weather has achieved global success at an international science fair.

Conor Casey (18) from Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare, represented Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) with his project ‘Using AI to Improve Weather Prediction’ at the virtual competition last week where he claimed a second place award in his category, Earth and Environmental Sciences, winning a prize of $2,000.

The Sixth Year student secured his place at the international competition when he won the Runner-up Award at the SciFest 2020 National Final last November.

Using artificial intelligence Conor developed a model which can produce a forecast of a similar level of accuracy to current models, while doing so with greater efficiency. This would make it cheaper to generate weather forecasts by reducing the amount of resources required.

Regeneron ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, involving over 1,800 students from 64 countries, regions and territories competing for a prize fund totalling $5 million. The competition is usually held in the United States but for the second year running this year’s event took place virtually due to COVID-19.

“The whole ISEF experience has been absolutely amazing,” Conor said.

“It was great that the competition got to go ahead virtually, it gave me the opportunity to interact with people from around the world who have done some incredible work across a huge variety of areas. I really enjoyed presenting my project and hearing from world famous scientists who have really encouraged me to develop my love of STEM. I am immensely grateful to everyone at SciFest for this opportunity, as well as all my family and my teacher Ms Abbott, without whom none of this would have been possible.”

Sheila Porter, SciFest Founder and CEO added that Conor “is a great example of the high calibre of entries that SciFest produces”.

“His project demonstrates that great science is really about curiosity, exploration and having an inquisitive spirit. For Conor to represent Ireland at ISEF and to win in his category over other students from all over the world is an impressive achievement not only for him, his teacher and school but for Ireland too, and it shows that there is a very high standard of science being taught in Irish schools.”

Also representing Kerry at Regeneron ISEF 2021 was SciFest finalists David Hughes from Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Tralee.

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Green light for teen accommodation

By Michelle Crean  Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.

An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.

The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.

The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.

The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.

The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.

Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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