Dromahair man wins National Skills Award

A graduate of IT Sligo, Jamie Conlon from Dromahair, Co Leitrim, has been honoured at one of the most prestigious craft competitions in the country.

A graduate of IT Sligo, Jamie Conlon from Dromahair, Co Leitrim, has been honoured at one of the most prestigious craft competitions in the country.

Jamie came third in the recent Ireland Skills National Joinery Final, one of six IT Sligo winners at the event. He is now employed by Ivan Hamilton building contractor from Dromahair.

“Jamie performed to a very high standard and represented the college with great distinction over the demanding 18 hour competition,” said IT Sligo lecturer John Joe O’Reilly who is the Ireland Skills Chief Joinery Expert.

Jamie will also be eligible to compete for a place on the Irish team in the World Skills Finals due to be held in Leipzig Germany in 2013.

Mr O’Reilly pointed out that the competition attracts the best young trainee crafts persons from around the country and provides a showcase for the training and development of highly skilled crafts persons within the Irish education system, giving them a platform on the international stage.

IT Sligo has a tradition of taking prizes at this annual competition, and has come first in the Joinery Final for four years running with Adrian Flaherty from Kinnity coming first this year.

Other 2012 IT Sligo national finalists included students from the recently launched Advanced Wood & Sustainable Building Technology degree course.

Commenting on the results, Mr Trevor McSharry, Head of Department of Civil Engineering and construction said it was significant that the new and innovative BSc Advanced Wood & Sustainable Building Technology programme at IT Sligo, which was tailor made to meet the needs of the Green Economy, has already made its mark in such a prestigious event.

“This new programme is now one of the biggest in the department due to student demand. Having recently been awarded a grant of over €66,000, we will be sending students and staff to Germany shortly for two weeks of efficient timber construction training,” he commented.

The National Skills Competition took place at Cork Institute of Technology’s Bishopstown campus from September 10th to 12th. The skills showcased included Automobile Technology, Carpentry, Construction, Plant Fitting, Electrical Installations, Industrial Control, Joinery, Metal Fabrication, Plastering, Refrigeration and Welding.

“We are delighted that so many of our students are helping to set the standard for excellence in workmanship,” said Mr O’Reilly who trained the joinery competitors. Another IT Sligo lecturer Mr. Cathal Naughton, who was also an examiner in the National Finals, was responsible for training the carpentry finalists.

Other 2012 IT Sligo finalists included Paul Hosty from Castlegal, Co Galway who came second in the National Joinery Final, and Sheamus McLaughlin from Kerrykeel Co Donegal, a student on the Advanced Wood & Sustainable Building Technology degree course, who came fifth in this category.

Ciaran McQuaid from Scotshouse Clones Co Monaghan took third place in the carpentry final and Dave O’Reilly from Carpenterstown , Co Dublin came fourth in that competition .

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