Irish genes help her win
Living in Dublin for more than three years inspired 16-year-old Kerrianne Fanning to enter a national essay-writing competition on Ireland, a decision that resulted in her being named the competition's first winner from Invercargill.
The James Hargest College pupil submitted her paper titled "Genetically Irish", impressing the judges of the Rodney Walshe Ireland Essay competition, who named her the clear winner.
Mr Walshe is the Honorary Consul General of Ireland and will be joined by ambassador Noel White, from the Irish embassy in Canberra, to present Kerrianne's prize at school assembly on June 18.
The annual competition has been running for more than 21 years and attracts many high-standard entries, from schools throughout the country.
The modest year 12 pupil said she entered the competition because she thought it sounded interesting and she wanted a trip back to Ireland, where she had previously lived with her family from July 2005 until the end of 2008.
It took months of research and many drafts before she perfected her essay on her chosen, complex topic, she said.
"Genetics has always interested me," she said, while confidently rhyming off the genetics of the Irish people.
She used a study from Trinity College Dublin to explain how there had been little genetic variations in Ireland since its first inhabitants arrived 9000 years ago.
She also questioned what would happen to Irish DNA with the arrival of migrants and more global connections.
Kerrianne will travel to Dublin next month for one month, on an all-expenses-paid visit.
She would stay with an Irish family and attend some summer school courses, which she said she was looking forward to.
"I just can't wait to get back to Dublin and maybe I might see some of my old friends."
Kerrianne loved the people, culture and the environment of Ireland. She said she was proud to represent Invercargill in Dublin and hoped other pupils in the region followed in her footsteps.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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