A teenage student from Dundalk, Co. Louth, has formally launched his free Irish language app, Focal.ie.
Cormac Kinsella, age 14, unveiled his latest app at an event hosted by his school, Coláiste Lú, last Wednesday evening. Cormac has developed both an iOS & Android version of this App to run on smart phones, iPads and tablets.
The Focal.ie app allows users to search the National Terminology Database for Irish, tearma.ie (previously named focal.ie). In a presentation last Wednesday, Cormac explained how he developed the app which links directly to the tearma.ie database without requiring a web browser and without advertising links. The app makes use of the mobile version of the site reducing the number of keystrokes and delivering fast response times.
Cormac, a student in Irish language school Coláiste Lú, saw a gap in the market for a free Irish language app that would assist in Irish to English and English to Irish translations. The terminology database, tearma.ie, had been recommended to Cormac by Irish teachers but had yet to make an app available. Taking the initiative, Cormac developed Focal.ie, taking you to the mobile version of the site at the touch of a button.
Speaking at the launch on Wednesday night, Oliver Tully, Chairperson (Cathoirleach) of Louth County Council, congratulated Cormac expressing both his delight that Dundalk had such a budding technical entrepreneur and his amazement that someone so young had created such a technically proficient product.
Deirdre Uí Liathain, principal of Colaiste Lú, also congratulated Cormac, forecasting a glittering future for him in IT and told him how useful she finds the app, particularly as it accesses such a comprehensive dictionary resource and she also loves the app’s fast response time.
Tearma.ie is the National Terminology Database for Irish, developed by Fiontar, DCU in collaboration with The Terminology Committee (An Coiste Téarmaíochta), Foras na Gaeilge. The database contains over 338,000 terms, searchable under both Irish and English versions. Since a general dictionary is now available at www.focloir.ie, the site has recently changed its name from focal.ie (hence to app name) to tearma.ie. The web address for the National Terminology Database for Irish will change from focal.ie to tearma.ie on 1 March 2015.
Cormac has stated that he would donate the App to the owners of the National Terminology Database if they so desired.
The young student is already a fully established app developer in Ireland. A regular attendee at the Drogheda Coder Dojo for the past 3 years, he has now developed and collaborated on several apps. He became the youngest app developer in Ireland in 2014, along with his friend Cian Martin-Bohan, when they launched OpenShare, the app that allows users to post across several social networks at the same time. The pair also worked to develop an app for the Digital Youth Council, the DYC HaveYourSay app, that allowed young Irish people to share their opinions with the council on STEM (science,, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Cormac was invited to be one of the 12 founder members of the Digital Youth Council of Ireland in 2014, part of a Europe-wide initiative whose objective is to encourage coding opportunities for all students and provide a platform for them to influence the National Digital Strategy. Ireland made history by becoming the first country in Europe to launch the Youth Council.
Focal.ie has already been downloaded by 500+ Android phone users as well as a couple of hundred Apple customers.
The Focal.ie app is available at:
- Google Play Store https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.releae.Focalgachait&hl=en
- Apple App Store https://itunes.apple.com/ie/app/focal.ie/id936341951?mt=8
- and at http://mk-software.weebly.com/focalie.html
Have you given the Focal.ie app a try? Leave us a review in the comments section.