GMIT student wins top award in 2016 IrelandSkills National Competition

Friday, April 15, 2016 Press Office
Press Release

Cian Mulligan from Rathcoole, Co Dublin, is also holder of the Joinery award

A student at GMIT’s National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design & Technology in Letterfrack has won his second top award in the 2016 IrelandSkills National Competitions.  Cian Mulligan from Rathcoole in Co Dublin, studying on the B.Sc. (Hons) in Furniture and Wood Technology programme, last week won the IrelandSkills National Competition in Cabinetmaking held in Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute.  Last December Cian also won the 2016 IrelandSkills National Competition in Joinery, held in CIT.  In 2017 he intends competing in the remaining wood skill area of Carpentry to try and attain a third win, something that has never happened in the history of the IrelandSkills competitions.

Cian’s phenomenal success follows on from his selection for the Irish Team that competed in WorldSkills 2015 in São Paulo, Brazil where he finished in sixth place and won a Medallion for Excellence for his performance in the Cabinetmaking competition.

This is the 58th year of the IrelandSkills National Competitions where 25 different skill areas are represented.  It is open to students and apprentices from all over Ireland and the final sees competitors working hard to become the national champion in their chosen skill area. 

Other finalists from GMIT Letterfrack who competed in last week’s Cabinetmaking final were John Hewer (Westport, Co. Mayo), Sean Hogan (Dunmore East, Co. Waterford) and Matthew Howard (Curragh, Co. Kildare)

The competitors worked from a detailed set of drawings to make an intricate free standing side cabinet where a tall beech leg frame supported an upper cabinet carcass that incorporated a framed door and drawer.  An overhanging top embodied book matched veneering with inlay detailing. The students had to make the piece using a combination of hand, power tools and machines.

Anthony Clare, IrelandSkills Co-ordinator for GMIT Letterfrack, says the competition was very demanding and drew on all of the competitor’s skill and stamina. “To make this challenging piece required considerable skill in combining process execution, planning and time management to complete it within the 20-hour time limit.  This is a fantastic win for Cian and it clearly demonstrates his incredible skill, ability and drive.  I congratulate our other students who also reached the final.  Their effort, commitment and skill showcases their ability and they should be proud of their achievement. I also acknowledge and thank High-Tech Machinery Ltd for their very kind sponsorship of the IrelandSkills Cabinetmaking competition and for presenting a perpetual trophy to Cian at the Award Ceremony”, added Mr Clare.

Dermot O’Donovan, Head of Centre, GMIT Letterfrack, says: “Cian’s achievement is really tremendous. It very clearly displays the level of expertise attained by students studying on the B.Sc. (Hons) in Furniture and Wood Technology. Cian’s commitment to his own skills development enabled him to compete and win in both national and international competitions. We are delighted to once again have one of our students win this title, and it’s a credit to all our competitors and to Anthony Clare and all our staff who prepare them so well.”

GMIT Letterfrack is the National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology. GMIT Letterfrack students’ success in both national and international competitions underlies the excellence of standards in teaching and learning at the campus which has approximately 260 students registered on degree and honours degree programmes in Furniture & Wood Technology, Furniture Design & Manufacture and in Teacher Education. The college has strong links with industry with all students offered placements both in Ireland and overseas as part of their programmes.