Textbook Success for Students’ Charity Drive

Students at IT Sligo have been turning classroom theory into hard cash for charity.
 
Since September, 30 marketing students have helped raise €25,386 for six charities in the North West by working with them and making practical use of their degree-course skills.boxing PR class organisers

As part of their degree  programme, under gradates in Marketing, PR and Event Management work with chosen charities over a three month period during their final year’s study.

This semester’s fundraising tally brings to a staggering €69,386 the total that the IT Sligo students been involved in raising over the past five years.

“Charities are over the moon about getting help like this,” says Tourism and Event Management Lecturer, Joanna Sweeney. “At the moment, charities are struggling. The government is cutting funding. The charity sector is reliant on fundraising events, that’s the way things are going.”

Often targeting other students and in the process raising an individual charity’s profile and mission among the wider student community, the 30 students – in six groups of five — threw themselves in a series of quirky, off-the-wall ventures.

They included glamour nights, ceilis, tag rugby, waxathons, music events and a fundraising boxing challenge.

Joanna Sweeney says: “The students apply a  whole range of marketing knowledge – from coming up with the idea  to publicising the event and organising and managing it, doing the advertising and publicity and building social media awareness. In return, they get enormous practical experience that I hope will be helpful to any of them who go on to take up a career in social entrepreneurship.

“This is a hands-on module in non-profit marketing which, as well as being a stepping stone to getting their Bachelor of Business degrees, aims to equip the students with the skills to work in the non-profit sector.”

The biggest slice of this semester’s total €25k was nearly €21k, which the Irish Heart Foundation’s raised in its “Big Heart Fight Night” held at the Radisson Hotel in Sligo in November.  Styled as a fundraising boxing challenge, each participant had to raise sponsorship and sell tickets to the fight night and in return they received an 8 week course in the basics of boxing and the honour of competing in their own boxing bout on the night.

The students had a key part in the venture’s collaborative success by taking on a leading marketing role for the varied elements of the event.

David Muldoon, the Irish Heart Foundation’s fund-raiser in the North West said: “Sincere thanks go to all the IT Sligo students who put their hearts and souls into this fantastic event in aid of our charity. These are tough times and events like this are vital to help the Irish Heart Foundation continue its work so people living with heart disease and stroke get the support they need all year round.

“Together we are fighting the biggest cause of death in this country and together we help save more lives. The Big Heart Fight Night Sligo would not have been the success it was without the involvement of these fantastic students and I’m sure the practical experience will stand to them.”

The charities that benefitted from the students’ volunteer work this semester were; Cormac McAllenan Trust (€500): Hospice (€1187); Irish Heart Foundation (€20,812); Irish Wheelchair Association (€975); Ms Centre (€1000); One Life (€893).

Caption for photo above: Pictured are Jennifer Holland (student), Patrick Kilcoyne (Boxing Coach), Natasha Reilly (student), Emer Cryan (student),  Megan Mahon (student),  Joanna Sweeney (Tourism and Event Management lecturer), David Muldoon (Irish Heart Foundation) and Gary Mahon (student).

Mature applicants Information Evening – January 16

An information evening for adults who are interested in returning to education or taking up a course at third level for the first time will be held in IT Sligo on Wednesday January 16th.

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Information will be available on the supports available for mature learners entering third level education and the range of courses on offer at IT Sligo.

Access Officer Catherine McNelis is encouraging anyone who is aged over 23 and interested in exploring their options to attend the information evening: “The February 1st CAO deadline is approaching and now is the perfect time for people to look into their options.”

A mature student is classified as anyone who is aged over 23 on January 1, 2013,” she explained. “While mature students must apply through the normal CAO process, their experience and previous work experience will be taken into consideration when it comes to gaining entry and people should realise that their life experience will stand to them considerably should they choose to return to education.”

Student Recruitment Officer Dara McGoldrick will speak about the course options available to mature learners at the information evening; “Every first year course offered at IT Sligo is open to mature students and we have a wide range of courses across the disciplines that are targeted at getting people into the workplace, so I would encourage anyone interested in taking up a course to check out their options in our prospectus in advance of the meeting. The prospectus is available from IT Sligo and also on our website here.

“Up to 20 per cent of the places in our first year courses are available for mature students and this year one in six of our first year students are mature students, so you will not be alone and IT Sligo has great support systems in place to help mature students settle into college life,” she said.

The information evening will be held in Room A004 beside the Main Reception in IT Sligo from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday, January 16th. It is free and everyone is welcome to attend.

Access Programme Information Evening – January 23

An information evening about the IT Sligo access programme Breaking the Mould will be held on Wednesday, January 23rd.

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Breaking the Mould is targeted at students who may otherwise not be able to receive a higher level education for a variety of socio-economic reasons and is open to participants from Connacht and County Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan.

Participants  must be aged 22 or under,  and have attended a post primary school or education centre in the catchment area – which now includes Connacht,  Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan.  The programme is funded by IT Sligo and private donations.

Successful applicants are offered a place in their chosen course if they achieve the minimum entry requirements and are within 10 per cent of the points required under the CAO.

Breaking the Mould Programme Coordinator Ann McCauley explained that students who complete the two week summer school receive a  special one-off grant payment to help with the costs of going to college.

 “During the summer school,  participants  get tuition in a range of  subjects such as maths, computer skills and communications and they also attend daily workshops  on such topics as how  to manage their  finances, adjust to student life and stay healthy and stress free”, she explained.

Breaking the Mould application packs have been distributed to principals and guidance counsellors in all post primary schools and education centres in the catchment area. Students are invited to apply by the February 1st deadline, which coincides with the closing date for CAO applications.

One former beneficiary,  now a third year student at IT Sligo, said that after completing her Leaving Certificate she thought college would not be possible for her  because it would  place an unfair burden on her family.

“My mother was a single parent and I am the eldest of six so it would have been hard. Then I got a place on this programme and that made all the difference.  I am really enjoying my course at IT Sligo”.

Another student daunted at the thought of college life said that the two week summer school had made the transition from post primary school much easier. “I got my bearings before all the other students returned to college.  I learned my way around the Institute and around Sligo and the financial help is a great boost.”

The information evening will start at 6pm in the Hume Hall in the Student Support Services Building at IT Sligo on Wednesday, January 23rd.

To find out more contact Ann McCauley on 071-9137355 or email breakingthemould@itsligo.ie

Researcher Tops Irish Research Council Scholarship Scheme

IT Sligo civil engineering graduate, Glenn Gordon, has received the highest marks awarded in a prestigious Irish Research Council (IRC) scholarship scheme that drew nearly 500 applications from universities, Institutes of Technology and other third level colleges in Ireland and other EU states.GlennGordonweb

He has been awarded an IRC EMBARK Postgraduate Scholarship that will enable him to complete a wastewater treatment plant civil and environmental engineering research project which could lead to substantial economic savings for the public purse and private industry, as well as helping the environment.

Glenn, who is 25 and from Castlebar, Co Mayo, scored 94 % in the IRC’s assessment of his application which included consideration of aspects such as the candidate’s academic standing and personal statement about his project’s merits.

The scheme enables graduates to conduct research at Masters and PhD levels. This year it attracted 486 applications for 150 awards, 20 of which were won by researchers at Institutes of Technology.

A total 63 applicants were in the 85 – 94 marks category.

It is the latest accolade for Glenn, who has won several academic awards since he started at IT Sligo in 2005.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” he said. “It shows that hard work does pay but an award like this coming to IT Sligo says a lot too about the calibre of teaching at IT Sligo in Civil and Environmental Engineering, as well as the respect that it has in the research community in Ireland.”

Congratulating Glenn, IT Sligo President Professor Terri Scott, said: “This is one of the top-flight scholarships in Irish postgraduate research. It is a great tribute to Glenn’s expertise and further enhances the Institute’s reputation for cutting-edge research and as one of the leaders in Civil and Environmental Engineering.”

Glenn’s academic supervisor, Dr Brian McCann,  a Lecturer in the Department of Civil Engineering & Construction, pictured with Glenn below, who works under the Institute’s Centre for Sustainability Research Group, praised his commitment and enthusiasm. “The scholarship is a fitting reward for all the hard work and innovation that Glenn has demonstrated during his studies here at IT Sligo. As well as being a personal and professional accolade for Glenn, the award adds very significantly to IT Sligo’s research profile and reputation.”

Glenn is developing a ranking system that will rate wastewater treatment plants and, be of significant assistance to government funding agencies, local authorities, the dairy and food industries and other sectors that support or operate them.

“What I am working on are sustainable optimisation indicators, a type of benchmark against which all the stakeholders will be able to measure the efficiency of wastewater treatment plants. For example, when government is deciding on funding, it could use it to assess whether a plant meets a pre-set score or where it needs to improve to gain those extra points.

“This project involves assessing and monitoring a wide range of wastewater treatment plants to determine the extent of sustainable operation and performance. These Sustainable Optimisation Indicators will have national and international applicability. The result will be a ranking system that is geared to achieving the maximum performance potential and capacity from existing wastewater treatment plants”

Glenn began his studies at IT Sligo in September 2005 studying a two-year Higher Certificate in Civil Engineering and winning the CEMEX Medal for the highest overall marks in it. He followed that with a Bachelor of Engineering (Ord) in Civil and Water Engineering, winning the IT Sligo Governing Body Medal for highest overall marks. Next, he added a BEng (Honours) in Civil Engineering, achieving first-class honours on the Institute of Engineers of Ireland accredited Level 8 degree to his achievements, achieving joint highest marks for his final year dissertation.

Glenn‘s research has been supported by the Institute’s Research Capacity Building Fund but he largely self-funded the first two years of his Masters before transferring to the PhD register; “I don’t think I could have kept going without this boost from the Irish Research Council. It’s a great vote of confidence,” he said.

When he completes his PhD, Glenn hopes to work as a consultant in the area of wastewater treatment plant optimisation, design and innovation.

To learn more about Glenn’s research click here

 GlennGordonBMcCann

 Caption for photos: (Above top right) Glenn Gordon, an IT Sligo research student from Castlebar Co Mayo, has received the highest marks awarded in a prestigious Irish Research Council (IRC) scholarship scheme; (Above) Glenn pictured with his academic supervisor, Dr Brian McCann.

Mental Health Promoted at Student Events

A number of events promoting the importance of mental health awareness were organised by students at IT Sligo recently.  

Rugby Star Quinlan Shares His Experience

Munster rugby star Alan Quinlan visited the Institute as part of the Students’ Union’s Speaking Shows Strength Week, which was organised to promote positive mental health awareness.

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Alan, who has suffered from anxiety-related depression for a number of years, spoke about how he has overcome the many challenges he has faced with his mental health and the techniques he uses to maintain a positive outlook.

Paul Smith, Welfare Officer with the Students’ Union, said event was organised to help make students aware that it’s not uncommon to have mental health problems and that help is available; “Depression affects 1 in 5 people and 1 in 4 will experience a mental health problem at some point. It was very encouraging to see people with such a high profile who have personal experience with mental health issues that are willing to come forward and speak about those experiences,” he said.

 

STOP Suicide Counsellor advises students to ‘listen’ to each other

A counsellor & psychotherapist working with STOP Suicide, a Leitrim-based charity that supports families affected by suicide, advised students at IT Sligo to ‘listen’ to each other at an event organised by students during  ‘Minding Your Mental Health Week’.

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Students, lecturers and other members of the college community attended the event addressed by Michelle Fox B.A Counsellor & Psychotherapist, Supervisor & I.A.C.P. R.G.N, which aimed to create awareness of young people’s mental health issues.

Ms Fox advised students and lecturers how to identify signs when people are struggling, and more importantly, how to help. ‘Being there’ and ‘listening in a non judgemental way’ are two of the most important things that can be done for someone who is feeling low, she said.

The event was organised by marketing students Miriam Duffy and Yvonne Sloyan, with the help of their lecturer Emer Ward.

STOP Suicide was founded in 2004 by families who were bereaved by suicide. It’s a community, voluntary body that works to prevent suicide by informing educating and promoting positive suicide prevention policies throughout the west of Ireland. For more information see

 

Captions for above photographs: 1) Alan Quinlan, Munster Rugby Star with ITSSU Welfare Officer, Paul Smith; 2) From Left to right: Students Yvonne Sloyan and Miriam Duffy; Cilla Horan,  IT Sligo Chaplain; Michelle Fox, STOP Suicide;  Anita Hurst, ITSSU Education Officer; and Emer Ward, lecturer. 

‘Try a Tri’ in aid of National Suicide Research Foundation

Triathlons have experienced double digit growth in Ireland since 2007, with more than 140 events now taking place across the country each year. However, while 20,000 Irish people took part in Triathlons last year, the average age of participants is between 30 and 34.

A group of first and second years studying the Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure organised a ‘ Try a Tri’  event in order to promote the sport amongst third level students and to raise money for the National Suicide Research Foundation.

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Teams were required to complete a 400m swim, a 10k bike ride and a 4k run, while individual entries completed a 200m swim, an 8k bike ride and a 3k run. The individual winner was Tomás Madden from Mayo, with a time of 36.17 while the IT Sligo team, which featured Kerry Larkin, Brian McMorrow and Bernadette Gilroy, came first in the team category with a time of 42.64.

Lecturer Paula Roddy says this is the first event of its kind at the Institute but there are plans to make it an annual event; “Participation in triathlons has exploded in Ireland in the last few years and organising an event like this gives the students a real taste of what’s involved in the management of a multi-team event,” she said. “We also hope that it will encourage more students to get involved in the sport. While we have a very strong sporting tradition at IT Sligo, we find that most students tend to focus on their chosen sport or activity and we hope that by ‘Trying a Tri’ they’ll be encouraged to diversify their training and enjoy what is a very sociable and competitive sport.”

The NSRF conducts research in the area of suicide prevention and is recognised by the Department of Health and Children and the World Health Organisation as the leading research unit in the field in Ireland. Irene O’Farrell, Research Officer at the NSRF acknowledged the efforts of the students by saying; “The National Suicide Research Foundation is delighted to be involved with this initiative by the Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure students at IT Sligo. We thank them for choosing the National Suicide Research Foundation to be the beneficiary of the Try a Tri and for their hard work in organising and participating in the triathlon.”

The Clarion Hotel was the main sponsors of the event and provided the event, prizes and sponsorship. Other sponsors included Seventh Wave surf School, Enniscrone, Voya Seaweed baths Strandhill, E.J’s menswear Sligo, Jack and Jones, Eason’s, Sligo, Wheats Catering, the Knocknarea Arena, IT Sligo Students’ Union and Cactus and Ruby wear.

The results were as follows:

Individual
• 1st – Thomas Madden 36.17
• 2nd – Paul Little 37.39
• 3rd – Paul Logan 38.37
• Only female individual athlete – Lani Gregory 46.94
Team:

 •1st – IT Sligo Staff – Kerry Larkin (swim) Brian McMorrow (bike) Bernadette Gilroy (run) 42.64
• 2nd – 4th Yr Recreation & Leisure- Thelma Keenan (Swim) Brendan Butler (Bike) Denise Ward (run) 46.11
• 3rd – Clarion Staff Team (2) – Mark Lewis (swim) Niall Walsh (run) 51.03

Student Tomás Madden from Mayo (centre) who came 1st in the Individual Category pictured with IT Sligo lecturer Paula Roddy and Mark Lewis, of The Clarion Hotel.

Student Tomás Madden from Mayo (centre) who came 1st in the Individual Category pictured with IT Sligo lecturer Paula Roddy and Mark Lewis, of The Clarion Hotel.

Lanni Gregory, 2nd Year Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure student, was the only female competitor in the event. She’s pictured with lecturer Paula Roddy and Mark Lewis, The Clarion Hotel.

Lanni Gregory, 2nd Year Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure student, was the only female competitor in the event. She’s pictured with lecturer Paula Roddy and Mark Lewis, The Clarion Hotel.

From left to right, students Christy Highland, Tommy Gilroy and David Lynn take part in the ‘Try a Tri’ event organised by students of the Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure at the Clarion Hotel.

From left to right, students Christy Highland, Tommy Gilroy and David Lynn take part in the ‘Try a Tri’ event organised by students of the Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure at the Clarion Hotel.

The ‘Try a Tri’ organising committee - 1st and 2nd Year students in the Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure – pictured with lecturer Paula Roddy and Mark Lewis of The Clarion Hotel.

The ‘Try a Tri’ organising committee - 1st and 2nd Year students in the Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure – pictured with lecturer Paula Roddy and Mark Lewis of The Clarion Hotel.

Live Art Week examines identity, loss & body-image

12LiveArt003JCMedStudents who created a series of successful thought-provoking drama pieces for IT Sligo’s annual Live Art Week say the experience has made them more committed than ever to pursuing careers in creative arts.

Following in Sligo’s tradition of experimental theatre, their incisive performances cast new light on sensitive themes and challenged onlookers to think afresh.

Thanks to co-operation by Sligo’s theatre fraternity at Lower Quay Street, Live Art Week also marked an important departure for IT Sligo because it was the first time that most of the events were held in town centre venues

The 19 third year Performing Arts degree students who staged their work along with video installation artists from the Fine Arts programme used facilities in the rejuvenated dockland home of Blue Raincoats, Sligo Youth Theatre and Branching Out.

Una Mannion, Lecturer in Performing Arts, said that working in the venues’ performance spaces had been an invaluable experience for the students.

“We had interactive installations and solo performance that gave a fresh take on issues such as identity, loss, body-image, the power of words, peer pressure and politics.”

David Kelly (22), from Cavan, said that in “Terrorists?” he was questioning a perception of Palestinians as being the only terrorists in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In it, he sat at a table, clad in an orange jump-suit black and his head hooded while an anti-American audio played and an audience of just one person at a time scrutinised a folder of photos of Israeli attacks in Gaza.

“The piece was much stronger than I ever could have anticipated. People left crying, some thanked me and others left after only being there for 20 seconds. It was incredibly tough and emotionally draining.”

A vacant shop window at Lower Quay Street framed Kimberley Tanoh (20) who was dressed as a doll while an audio track babbled.  It portrayed her concern about the irresponsibility of people who talk openly in front of children about adult topics such as sex and drink, crime and other dissolute behaviour, without thinking of the impact on the young listeners.

Kimberley, who describes herself as French and English, currently lives in Co Laois. She said: “Overall, I got very positive feedback from people who saw it. I’m loving my time in Performing Arts where I’m in the actor strand, and I hope to work in theatre after I leave.”

Marsha Fleming, (31) from Co Galway, sat at computer against a background of tangled netting and a projection of virtual reality activity. She “used the imagery of nets to show the entrapment of the individual in the world of the World Wide Web, illustrating how lines of communication are often distorted and lost.”

She said: “My time at IT Sligo has been an opportunity to help me grow as an individual and as a creative artist. Following my studies, I hope to be able to adapt my skills to a creative working environment preferably here in Ireland.”

Click here for more information on the BA in Performing Arts at IT Sligo

Image Captions:

Top Right: Marsha Fleming – Caught In The Net – at the launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo. Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.

Lauren Pidgeon, with David Kelly, Terrorist? Who is the Terrorist? at the launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo.Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.20NOV12.

Lauren Pidgeon, with David Kelly, Terrorist? Who is the Terrorist? at the launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo.Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.

Welcome to the Doll House, Kimberly Tanoh, at the launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo.Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.20NOV12.

Welcome to the Doll House, Kimberly Tanoh, at the launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo.Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.

Darren Wilson contributes to “Make Your Mark” by Barbara Schmaucks at the launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo. Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.

Darren Wilson contributes to “Make Your Mark” by Barbara Schmaucks at the launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo. Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.

Who Keeps Count, Rachel Stout, Loss on a personal and universal level., at launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo.Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.20NOV12.

Who Keeps Count, Rachel Stout, Loss on a personal and universal level., at launch of Live Art Week by Performing Arts students at IT Sligo, in the Factory Performance Space, Sligo.Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8.

ORRECO support Fionnuala Britton in historic win

ORRECO, a company based in IT Sligo’s Innovation Centre which provides an applied bio marker (Blood and Saliva) testing service for elite athletes around the world, is part of the team behind athlete Fionnuala Britton’s huge success this week.Orreco-Wonder-Vision-Logo

 

Fionnuala Britton made history on Sunday when she became the first woman to successfully retain her European Cross Country title in Budapest.  She won two gold medals at the event, one in the Senior Women’s race and the other as a member of the overall winning team at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships. 

Founded by sports scientist Dr Brian Moore, and consultant physician, Dr Andrew Hodgson in 2009, ORRECO provide biomarker analysis for World Class athletes to help them reach peak performance.  

Members of the ORRECO team have worked with multiple World and Olympic Champions including the prestigious Nike Oregon Track Club, British Olympic Sailing Squad and athletes of the calibre of Padraig Harrington, Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah.

The company’s advanced blood and saliva testing helps athletes reach peak performance, protects sports men and women from overtraining syndrome and helps reduce the number of training days lost to illness and infection. Fionnuala Britton and her coach Chris Jones have paid tribute to the support provided by ORRECO; “Regular blood tests enable me to target any issues I have,” Fionnuala is quoted as saying on the company website. “It plays an essential role in reducing my chances of illness, increasing recovery and optimising performance. Recovery is one of the most important priorities, and through the monitoring of my blood work this has helped aid the application of recovery strategies.”

“If athletes are to looking to progress then it should be with the type of quality and expertise available from ORRECO,” Chris Jones commented. “They give confidence to the coaching process and also take on the responsibility of educating coaches and athletes, influencing a much better understanding of athlete peak performance and health management.”

The ORRECO team includes physiologists, medical doctors, biomedical scientists, biostatisticians, and clinical and performance nutritionists. A key part of the service is an early warning signal for athletes who may be in danger of over-training. “Elite athletes obviously have to train hard to improve, but there is a risk that in search of improvement that they may over-train. By cross referencing biomarker results with performance tests we can help identify signs that they are over-reaching before becoming excessively fatigued, Ill or injured,” explained Dr Moore.

“We were delighted, but not surprised, to see Fionnuala produce this stunning performance in Budapest, retaining her European Cross Country Championship,” he said. “Chris is widely acknowledged as a truly world class coach and when his skill-set is allied with Fionnuala’s prodigious talent, dedication and hard work, you have a winning combination. It is a privilege to be a part of their support team”.  

While based at IT Sligo’s Innovation Centre, the company has partner analysis sites around the world, and their international team of physiologists, physicians, performance and clinical nutritionists support athletes training in bases around the world including Cape Town, Johannesburg, London, Sydney, Brisbane, Oregon, Florida and San Francisco.

ORRECO came through Enterprise Ireland’s Propel Programme with the support of the Innovation Centre at IT Sligo.

To find out more about ORRECO see http://orreco.com/
To watch a video about their system see https://vimeo.com/41485500

Brave Lake Rescue by Reserve Garda Student

An undergraduate at IT Sligo who is a Reserve Garda waded into a bitterly cold lake on an October night to help save the trapped driver of car that had somersaulted off the road and landed on its roof in the water.StephenCorrigan

Life-saving skills learned by Stephen Corrigan (20) during his Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure course at Sligo proved invaluable when he and full-time Garda colleague, Garda Mark Irwin (23,) came to the rescue.

Without their quick action – and since the lights of the overturned car could not be seen above the water – the vehicle might have lain undiscovered until daylight.

With water lapping above their waists, the pair managed to prise partially open the driver’s door and kept his head above the water line until the fire service arrived with winch gear.

Now in his second year at IT Sligo, Stephen, joined the Reserve Garda in November 2011.

He and another IT Sligo student, Reserve Garda Shane Kilcoyne, are due to attend a course at the Garda Depot in Templemore, Co Tipperary, this month as part of their ongoing Reserve training.

Coincidentally each is from Louisbourgh, Co Mayo, their station is in Westport, Co Mayo, and both are taking the Business in Recreation and Leisure course.

Stephen, who hopes to become a full-time member of the Garda Síochána after graduation – and so follow in the footsteps of his father, James, who retired from the service a year ago – says practical skill he acquired on his degree course gave him the confidence to venture into the lake.

“When I was entering the water it was in the back of my mind that I had the confidence to go in, although I didn’t know how deep it would be,  because I had developed good swimming and life saving skills in that module of the degree.”

Details of the lake rescue, which happened at about 9.30pm on October 29th, came to light at a recent sitting of Westport District Court when the driver of the car was convicted of dangerous driving and Garda Irwin, from Ballymote, Co Sligo, and Reserve Garda Corrigan  were praised for their actions.

They were on mobile patrol with when they saw the Ford Focus go out of control and somersault into the lake beside the Leenan Road, outside Westport.

Speaking after the court case, Stephen said: “Garda Irwin radioed for assistance immediately as I went into the water. I came alongside the car and tried to open it on my own but it wouldn’t work. Then Mark came alongside and the two of us were just about able to open it enough to get our hands in through a very small space.  We saw the man and got a hand to his chin and kept his head above the water in a small air pocket.

“We again tried to prise the door open further but to no avail. We supported him and kept talking to him to make sure he was conscious until the rest of the emergency services arrived. The fire brigade then got a winch onto the door and while that was happening we kept a hold of the man to keep him above the water to ensure that his head didn’t drop again.

Caption for photo above: Stephen Corrigan a student of Bachelor of Business in Recreation and Leisure who is also a Reserve Garda.

Applications now invited for New Frontiers

Applications from budding entrepreneurs in the North West are now invited for the next programme of New Frontiers.

Group shot - New Frontiers Phase 2 - 2012

New Frontiers is a National Enterprise Support Programme designed to create sustainable knowledge and technology businesses. It is perfect for anyone who has been contemplating a new innovative business or is in the process of developing a new product or service in the following areas; Food & Consumer; Communication Technology; Engineering / Electronics; Medical Devices; Biotechnology; Pharma; Digital Media and Internationally Traded Services.

The programme is funded by Enterprise Ireland and operated in the North West by IT Sligo and LYIT. Applications are invited before January 4th for the next programme.

During the part-time 8 week first phase of the programme, participants will benefit from workshops on the Business Value Proposition, Market Research and Validation, Sales Training and Financial Management.

One of the participants on the programme this year is Anne Tuohy who runs Room Junkie, an online advice on home interiors;

New Frontiers has been very valuable to me in developing and testing my business idea,” she said. I feel I’ve learned an awful lot about growing my business in a very short time. It’s great to exchange information with other participants as well. As a result I believe I’m much further on now with my service.”

The core element of the second phase of New Frontiers is a six-month intensive programme which focuses on developing the person’s entrepreneurial abilities, equipping them with the skills they need to run, and crucially to develop, sustainable businesses.

According to Dr. Michelle Connolly, Programme Manager;

The focus of the New Frontiers programme is to impart the entrepreneurship skills needed to move from a business concept to the marketplace. In essence, surrounding these entrepreneurs with the expertise and information they need to turn their idea into a viable business. I’d particularly like to invite anyone who has been considering a new product or service in the North West to get in touch.

New Frontiers will be delivered over 3 phases. After phase one is completed, participants will then be selected for the second phase (12 places) based on the viability of their idea, where they will receive financial support of €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland as they focus all their efforts on developing a business during this six-month period.

They will also be given desk space in the Institute of Technology’s incubation centre, one-to-one mentoring, business master classes and access to networking opportunities with potential investors.

The New Frontiers programme is now inviting applications before the deadline of 4th January 2013 for a programme start of February 2013. Participants’ testimonials and application forms are available from this link.

To apply for the New Frontiers programme or to find out more contact Dr. Michelle Connolly on 087 – 2868169 or email michelle.connolly@lyit.ie.

Pictured in above photo Participants in this year’s New Frontiers Programe, Back Row L-R: Stephen McGinley – Whitepark Engineering, Patrick Clafferty - Classroom PLC and Peter Campbell – Lone Star State; Front Row L-R: David O’Neill – Uppiddee, Vincent Breslin - Siansplan, Katie Sweeney - Service Sells, Thomas Cullen – Pocket Heroes and Daniel Clarke – Flying Cameras

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