GMIT Letterfrack Student will Represent Ireland in Worldsklls 2013


Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Friday, June 21, 2013

A student at GMIT’s National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design & Technology in Letterfrack has been identified as Ireland’s most promising young craftsperson in cabinetmaking and has been selected to join an Irish Team that will compete in the WorldSkills Competitions taking place in Leipzig, Germany from 2 to 7 July.

Darren Barber from Drumcliffe, Co Sligo is a third year student studying on the B.Sc. in Furniture and Wood Technology programme. Earlier this year he won the IrelandSkills Competition in Cabinetmaking where he demonstrated outstanding ability and making skill to produce an exceptional piece of furniture.

The WorldSkills competition was founded in Spain in 1947 to encourage world class standards among young craftworkers and it has been an international event since 1950. The Irish Team is among 57 countries that will participate in the event which is considered the Olympics of the industrial trades and service sectors of the global economy. Run over four days, the competition will test the stamina and skill of each competitor to the limit and all are determined to do their country proud and bring home a gold, silver or bronze medal for their discipline.

As part of the Irish Team preparations Darren has taken part in an intensive training programme under the direction of Declan Barrett, the IrelandSkills mentor for cabinetmaking in Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute.

GMIT Letterfrack is delighted to be Darren’s primary sponsor and Michael McGuigan of Festool Ireland has kindly supported his participation by supplying an extensive array of power tools and equipment that will be used by Darren in the competition. Connemara West, GMIT’s partner in the provision of programmes in Letterfrack, has also significantly contributed to the costs involved.

The IrelandSkills Co-ordinator for GMIT Letterfrack, lecturer Anthony Clare, says: “This is a fantastic achievement for Darren and we are all delighted for him. His inclusion in the Irish Team competing in Worldskills 2013 serves to highlight the skill level attained by students studying on programmes in GMIT Letterfrack.”

“Last year GMIT Letterfrack was designated a National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology. What better way to demonstrate this than by having one of our students competing on a world stage and representing Ireland in cabinetmaking in the WorldSkills Competition. There is certainly consistency in the skills achieved by our students as the last person selected to represent Ireland in cabinetmaking was also a GMIT Letterfrack student. In 2007, PJ Murphy from Ardrahan in County Galway won a Medallion of Excellence for his performance. ”

“Over the years GMIT Letterfrack students have performed very well in the National IrelandSkills cabinetmaking competitions and this is the fifth year in a row that one of our students has won this competition”, adds Mr. Clare.

For more information on programmes in the National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design & Technology at GMIT Letterfrack, visit: or or telephone 097-42653.