Updated: 08/04/17 : 07:35:40
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Sligo Apprentice is IrelandSkills National Winner 2017

A County Sligo toolmaking apprentice has won the 2017 IrelandSkills (Plastic Die Engineering) National Competition.

Micheál Flynn who is employed by Tool & Gauge in Tubbercurry, scooped the top prize after an intensive two days of competition at IT Sligo.

Apprentices from around the country took part in the preliminary stages, from which five finalists were selected. The five spanned counties Carlow, Dublin, Louth and Sligo and were set a demanding schedule which took place over two days, under the guidance of Armin Phillips, toolmaking expert and lecturer at IT Sligo.

The judges awarded the top prize to Micheál Brennan, who’s from Tourlestrane in south Sligo, and has completed Phase 4 of his toolmaking apprenticeship at IT Sligo.

“I’m delighted to win and it’s certainly a nice achievement to have my work rewarded in this way,” said Micheál.

“There’s a lot work in the final. We were set the task of building a small injection mould in 14 hours which made it a tight turnaround.”

      Micheál Flynn from Tullinaglug, Tourlestrane, with his proud parents Brendan and Annie-May.

Presenting Micheál with his award, John Twohig, Chairman of IrelandSkills, said: “Micheál will now be one of three toolmaking apprentices in contention for the Ireland team which will compete for international honours at the WorldSkills Finals in Abu Dhabi later this year.

Congratulating all the finalists on reaching this stage of the competition, Úna Parsons, Head of School of Engineering & Design at IT Sligo said:  “Toolmaking has been an intergral part of IT Sligo’s teaching activity  since the college’s inception in the 1970s. Our recent investment in new plans to establish a Precision Engineering Centre of Excellence for the Institute is a 21st century reflection of that heritage.”

Dr Brendan McCormack (President IT Sligo), Úna Parsons (Head of School of Engineering & Design at IT Sligo), Micheál Flynn (IrelandSkills 2017 Toolmaking Winner), John Twohig (IrelandSkills Chair) & Armin Phillips (IT Sligo).

IT Sligo provides workshop tutoring and practical experience to up to 60 trainees from firms across Ireland each year.  Hundreds of craftsmen and craftswomen have graduated the Institute’s course since it became a national centre in the 1970s.

    Micheál Flynn is congratulated by his employer Gerry Hunt from Tool & Gauge, Tubbercurry