Students make unique furniture for Mayo Gaelscoil

Thursday, August 29, 2013 Press Office
Press Release

An Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be the first person to use a lectern designed and made by a GMIT Letterfrack student when he formally opens Gaelscoil na Cruaiche primary school in Westport on 25 June. The lectern is one of 28 furniture pieces made by Letterfack students for the Gaelscoil.

The pieces include internal and external seating for pupils and parents, computer tables, mobile kitchen work stations, bookcases, display and storage pieces for musical instruments, a gazebo, lecterns for pupils, teachers, a trophy display cabinet, art room tables, coat stand, notice board and a bicycle shelter. They were made by 28 students on the B.Sc in Furniture Design & Manufacture as part of their degree programme.

The idea for the collaborative project came about after the Gaelscoil became aware of last year's live project - a children's play trail through the grounds of Kylemore Abbey and GMIT Letterfrack Technician Gary Graham, who has children in the Gaelscoil, initiated contact between GMIT Letterfrack and the Westport primary school.

The Letterfrack students took on the challenge to design and make appealing, fun, engaging and functional pieces of furniture for the school. They were briefed on the requirements for each piece at the project launch in February when they first met the pupils, parents and teachers. Two weeks later they presented interim designs and once again got feedback from the pupils, parents and teachers during a full day of four rotating panels in the Letterfrack campus.

GMIT programme lecturer Anthony Clare says it has been a fantastic learning experience for the students. "Through this project our students have been given an excellent opportunity to learn, develop and understand the nuances of working and presenting their work to an actual client. The resulting work produced is a credit to each of them."

"The diverse nature of the pieces facilitated active collaborative learning for the students and we are delighted that Deputy Enda Kenny will be the first person to use the new lectern specifically designed for visiting dignitaries to Gaelscoil na Cruaiche".

Gaelscoil na Cruaiche Principal Mairéad Ní Ruáin said "We are delighted to have been afforded this unique opportunity to work in collaboration with a third-level institution such as the GMIT in Letterfrack. The creativity and professionalism shown by the students and their lecturers is truly inspiring and as a result, their carefully crafted furniture now adorn our new school building and grounds. Míle buíochas libh ar fad."