The finest students battle it out to represent Ireland in WorldSkills Competition as DIT hosts the 49th National Skills Competition

Dublin, 19th September 2006: The 49th National Skills competition took place last week at Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street, and brought together 72 of the best students from IoT's around the country. The event was established to encourage excellence in industrial and service skills, to provide a platform for participants to demonstrate their competence in a competitive arena and to raise awareness of the calibre of skilled apprentices in Ireland today.

Students compete in a variety of skills areas such as brickwork, construction plant fitting, graphic design, welding, painting and decorating, plumbing, polymechanics, refrigeration, sheet metalwork, automobile technology and restaurant service. There were eleven different categories with contestants competing in each over the four days of the competition.

Some of the winners will go on to represent Ireland in the World Skills Competition, which takes place in Japan in 2007.

Commenting on this year's event, Donal Keys, DIT School of Construction and Chairman of the competition said, "These are young, bright talented individuals with the focus and drive to compete in their skill area. We were very impressed with the exceptionally high standards and our congratulations to all of our winners.

"Our thanks also to our sponsors Snickers Workwear, SISK Building Contractors; Akso Nobel, Refrigeration Skillnet, Ormonde Brick, Wavin, BOC Gases, Master Painters and Decorators of Ireland, Teachers Union of Ireland and Danfoss."

DIT has been synonymous with the education and training of Ireland's apprentices since its inception more than a century ago, and the Institute remains at the forefront of skills training today. According to Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT "Our extensive skills training is testimony to the importance DIT places on this essential area of education and the quality can be measured by the excellent showing of our apprentices at both national and international level. Our success is continuously benchmarked internationally by the WorldSkills competition." For example, at the last World Skills Competition, held in Helsinki, Finland, the Irish team of highly skilled young people performed extremely well competing against teams from 38 other countries and winning 3 gold medals, 1 silver, 1 bronze and 9 medallions. Dublin Institute of Technology was particularly proud that the three gold medal winners trained in DIT. They were Ross Wasson, Gold Medal winner for Automobile Technology - trained by Enda Fagan, DIT; Sinead Leacy, Gold Medal winner for Restaurant Services - trained by Tony Conlon, DIT; and Alan Parr, Gold Medal winner in Refrigeration, trained by Garrett Keenaghan, DIT.

Winners of 2006 Competition were as follows:

Niall Glynn, Ballon, Co.Carlow.

David Gallagher, Swinford, Co Mayo

Pierce Fallon, Clifden, Co Galway.

Cian Mulholland, Furbo, Co. Galway.

Cian Finn, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

Declan McGee, Falcarragh, Co.Donegal.

Thomas Tupper, Cork.

Declan Tynan, Kilmacow, Co.Kilkenny.

Paul Rispin, Trim, Co.Meath. 

James Redmond, Enniscorthy, Co.Wexford.

Kenneth Clooney, Kilmore Quay, Co.Wexford. 

Stephen Harrington, Castletownbere, Co. Cork.

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