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Erica wins Doodle 4 Google with her ‘My Happy Robot Tom’ creation

Doodle will be displayed on Google Ireland homepage on Friday, April 7th

It was happiness all around for six year old Erica Redmond from Scoil Carmel in Firhouse when she was crowned the overall winner of this year’s Doodle 4 Google competition this afternoon. Erica’s winning doodle ‘My Happy Robot Tom’ beat off stiff competition from over 4,000 students across Ireland to win this year’s competition. Erica’s winning Doodle will now be seen by millions of visitors to the Google Ireland homepage on Friday, April 7th next.

In a grand final ceremony in Google’s EMEA headquarters in Dublin, Erica was today presented with her award, as well as a €5,000 scholarship towards her third-level studies and a Chromebook. Erica’s school, Scoil Carmel Junior School will also receive a €10,000 technology grant while her teacher Ms Lea will also receive a Chromebook.

This year’s theme “If I could create anything it would be…” gave students the ability to use their imagination as much as they wanted to create their doodle. Erica’s winning doodle, called “My Happy Robot Tom” was designed by Erica to be her companion.

She explained, “I designed a happy robot called Tom to help with my chores and be my friend. Tom is always happy and loves to play games with me. I gave him multicoloured legs because I love rainbows. I used all the letters from Google as parts of my robot, the G’s are ears, the O’s are eyes and the L and E are my robots power switches connected with curly cables.”

Speaking at the Grand Final, Fionnuala Meehan, VP and head of Google Ireland said, “It’s been a fantastic year for the our Doodle 4 Google competition, which continues to grow every year. We’re always blown away by the standard of entries we receive and this year was no exception. It was great to see such creativity and innovation in the entries we received which made it very difficult for our judges and for the public who vote for our group winners.

Almost half a million public votes were cast and lots of communities across Ireland got behind our finalists which was tremendous. Congratulations to Erica and to all our finalists; I want to thank all the students who entered and their teachers and parents who support them in doing so every year”.

Fionnuala Meehan added that she looked forward to seeing the impact of the technology grant for Scoil Carmel Junior School in Firhouse, saying “technology in the classroom is having a transformational effect in giving our young people the skills needed in this digital age and we are delighted to award a €10,000 technology grant to the winning school in our Doodle 4 Google competition every year”.

This year’s judging panel included John McDaid, Creative Director of Dog Ears, a children’s media company based in Derry who make TV, apps, books and events for kids, Aoife Doyle Director and Co-founder of Pink Kong studios which is an award winning Dublin based animation studio that creates branded animated entertainment for TV, games, film and Advertising Houses and Dr. Andreas Bandelli, CEO of Science Gallery International. They had the task of selecting the 75 regional finalists for the public vote.

Almost half a million votes were cast in this year’s competition, with the highest number of votes in each category making it through to the overall final round. From these five group winners, the Google Doodle team then had the difficult task of choosing the overall winner.

All group winners in the Doodle 4 Google competition are:

Group 1 – Erica Redmond, (aged 6), Scoil Carmel, Firhouse, Dublin 24 (overall winner)
Group 2 – Chloe McCarthy (aged 8), Scoil Eoin, Innishshannon, Co. Cork
Group 3 – Gabriela León (aged 12), Our Lady Good Counsel Girls National School, Co. Dublin
Group 4 – Yuting Chen (age 14), Sancta Maria College, Dublin 16
Group 5 – Peter Furey (aged 16), Ardscoil Rís, North Circular Road, Co. Limerick

You can view all the regional finalists’ doodles on www.doodles.google.ie/d4g/