Google and the people of Dublin choose 5 worthy projects to get €100,000 each

5 Apr 2019

From left: Sile Maguire and Mark O’Doherty from Down Syndrome Ireland, with Fionnuala Meehan, head of Google Ireland. Image: Google

Google, a panel of judges and the people of Dublin have made their choice on the innovative social projects worth backing.

A final five projects are to receive €100,000 each as part of the Google Impact Challenge for Dublin.

Last month 15 projects were selected to receive €50,000 in funding each as part of the €1m challenge, with the final five to be selected for an overall €100,000 in funding under the Google bursary.

‘The five months since we launched the Impact Challenge Dublin have been really awe-inspiring’

A panel of judges was tasked with choosing four recipients to have their funding doubled to €100,000, with a fifth organisation selected by an online public vote.

The people have chosen

At an event in The Foundry at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin, the five final projects were revealed.

The four organisations chosen by the panel of judges to receive €100,000 each from the Impact Challenge are:

A Lust for Life

A new, innovative platform to share creative mental health content.

Citywise Education

Provides educational support to young people in underserved communities.

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre

Removes barriers to accessing support for those who have experienced sexual violence.


A peer-to-peer IT education and drop-in facility for older people.

The final People’s Choice Award went to:

Down Syndrome Ireland

Helping adults with Down Syndrome to secure meaningful paid employment. It emerged victorious after a close-run online poll, which saw a total of more than 38,000 votes cast.

In Dublin’s fair city

As part of a €1m investment in the Dublin Impact Challenge, Google invited non-profits, social enterprises and educators to submit bold ideas to grow social and economic opportunities in their communities.

When it launched the project, Google revealed that its headcount in Dublin stood at 8,000 people, with 1,000 of those positions filled in 2018 alone.

The judges were: Cllr Nial Ring, Lord Mayor of Dublin; Senator Lynn Ruane; Mary Rose Burke, CEO of Dublin Chamber; Dublin GAA legend Bernard Brogan; journalist Róisín Ingle; Tomás Sercovich, Business In The Community CEO; and Fionnuala Meehan, head of Google Ireland.

“The five months since we launched the Impact Challenge Dublin have been really awe-inspiring,” said Meehan.

“We received over 150 entries from all corners of the county and from every imaginable community initiative, and it was really heartening to see so much energy and enthusiasm being invested into local and grassroots projects.

“Dublin has been very good to us in the last 15 years, so we have been very mindful of supporting local projects as much as possible, and the Impact Challenge Dublin is the latest in a long line of these endeavours. We’re now looking forward to working with all of the winners and helping them use their funds in the best possible way to realise their goals.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years