The 75 finalists are facing a public vote in the Doodle 4 Google competition that closes on March 10, after being selected from nearly 2,400 entries from children across the country.
The five most popular doodles (one from each age category) will go forward to the final and just one will be selected as the overall winner. That accolade will earn the chosen artist the privilege of having his or her work displayed on the Google Ireland homepage, with top Irish artists among the judges.
The search engine, which has its European headquarters in Dublin, says the winning doodle will be shown on the Google.ie homepage for a full day next month. But the prize also includes a €5,000 scholarship for their third-level studies, a Chromebook computer for themselves and their teacher, and a €10,000 technology grant for their school.
Among those shortlisted is Clara Ní Chathail, a second-class pupil at Gaelscoil Chionn tSáile in Kinsale, Co Cork, where principal Sinéad Ní Mhurchú said everyone was thrilled when she and senior infants pupil Philippa Nic an Taoisigh were in the running to be selected for public voting.
“It’s great to have Clara in the running for the public vote, particularly for a growing school that first opened in 2007 and it’s the first time we had entries in the competition,” said Ms Ní Mhurchú.
The five categories include three for primary pupils and two for second-level students, and the 75 finalists include 10 other Cork pupils, including two each from Lisavaird National School near Clonakilty, St John the Baptist NS in Midleton, and Regina Mundi College in Douglas. Kilmurry NS near Sixmilebridge accounts for three of Clare’s six finalists with Caroline, Samuel and Paul Hamilton vying for votes in each of the primary school categories.
Both Limerick finalists are students of St Clement’s College, and Tipperary and Waterford have two shortlisted finalists each.
“The level of creativity and imagination shown was fantastic and left our judging panel with a tough task of shortening the list to 75. Now it’s the public’s turn to get involved and help choose our five class group winners,” said John Herlihy, head of Google Ireland.
The judges included Jim Fitzpatrick, creator of the iconic red-and-black Che Guevara poster; Christine Crotty, known for her illustrated pictorial maps of Irish walled towns, and Dublin Children’s Museum marketing manager Ciara O’Shea.
Members of the public can vote for their favourite images at http://www.google.ie/doodle4google/