GMIT Letterfrack student to represent Ireland in Worldskills 2017

A student at GMIT’s National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology in Letterfrack has been selected to join an Irish team competing in WorldSkills 2017, taking place in in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 14 to 19 October.

Sean Hogan from Brownstown, Dunmore East, in Co Waterford, is a fourth year student studying on the BSc (hons ) in furniture and wood technology programme. Earlier this year he achieved first place in a rigorous selection process designed to identify the best and most resilient competitor in cabinetmaking for inclusion in the Ireland team.

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. Ireland 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 through a rigorous task 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 Mr Hogan is undertaking an intensive training programme under the direction of Declan Barrett, the WorldSkills mentor for cabinetmaking in Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute.

The IrelandSkills and WorldSkills co-ordinator for GMIT Letterfrack, lecturer Anthony Clare, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Sean and it will be the experience of a lifetime for him. All the staff in GMIT Letterfrack recognise and applaud Sean’s skill, determination, and commitment and sincerely hope he excels in this competition. Having previously won the IrelandSkills 2017 Cabinetmaking competition, Sean has clearly demonstrated that he has incredible skill and ability and is a worthy member of the Ireland team competing in WorldSkills 2015.

“GMIT Letterfrack is the National Centre for Excellence in furniture design and technology and one of the best ways to demonstrate this is to have its students competing on the world stage, representing Ireland in WorldSkills competitions," Mr Clare added. "A consistent trend is emerging given three previous competitors selected to represent Ireland in cabinetmaking at WorldSkills were students studying at GMIT Letterfrack. Cian Mulligan from Rathcoole, Co Dublin, competed in 2015, attained sixth place and won a Medallion of Excellence. Darren Barber from Drumcliffe, Co Sligo, competed in 2013, and PJ Murphy from Ardrahan in County Galway competed in 2007 and won a Medallion of Excellence for his performance.

“Every year our students also compete in the IrelandSkills Competitions in Cabinetmaking and achieve exceptional results. Sean’s win in the 2017 competition delivered a ninth consecutive title to a student of GMIT Letterfrack, a remarkable achievement for any institute of technology."

GMIT Letterfrack offers a range of programmes in furniture design and technology and an undergraduate teacher training programme for students who wish to become teachers of construction studies and design and communication graphics at post primary level.

GMIT Letterfrack students’ success in national 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 design and manufacture, furniture and wood technology, and design and technology education. The college has strong links with industry with all students offered placements both in Ireland and overseas as part of their programmes.

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



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