Graduation day at Gurteen College Roscrea

Friday 24 January was graduation Day at Gurteen College, being delighted to celebrate close to 200 student’s graduation from our agriculture programmes. Joe Daly, GC Lecturer, was our able Master of Ceremonies taking us delightfully through the proceedings. John Parkin retired Methodist Minister gave an informative opening address, with reference to both the college’s past and future, and the consistent theme of “respecting the land”. Jon Parry Principal, imparted positive words of wisdom, recounting some of the many past students he had met in the last few months who had shared endearing reflections of their time and learning at Gurteen College. Jon also encourage those present to consider what farming in 2050 may involve, and suggested technological advances will result in agriculture continuing to change at a pace, and these changes will require a high level of training. As graduates move into the next stage of their life Jon talked of the importance of enjoyment on a personal level and to cherish the friendships and memories they have created whilst students at Gurteen College. Mike Pearson, retiring Principal March 2020, presented the students with their certificates.

Graduation day at Gurteen College Roscrea

L to R Patrick Gaynor IHFA president, students Sean Quinlan n Niall Stattery, IHFA CE Charlie Gallagher (1)

A number of special awards were made during the ceremony. The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) presented two awards for the top dairy student at Gurteen. A first prize was presented to Niall Slattery, from Templederry, Nenagh and second to Sean Quinlan from Clermont, Nenagh. The IFHA chief executive Charles Gallagher and President Patrick Gaynor kindly praised the quality of Gurteen students, commenting that they found all the Gurteen College students to have acquired a high standard of knowledge, Niall and Sean both had high levels of technical dairying knowledge and demonstrated excellent critical thinking.
Liffey Mills kindly donated an award for the best drystock student given to Rachael Dolan from Lough Rea presented on behalf of Liffey Mills by Karen Brosnan, Chair of GC Board of Governors. Racheal was praised for her exceptional practical skills with both cattle and sheep and her detailed knowledge of husbandry.
Level 6 Dairy students were congratulated on raising €365.70 for Focus Ireland, a cheque was accepted on behalf of Focus Ireland by John Parkin, Trustee of GC.
The Centenary Co-Op Thurles kindly awarded four bursaries which were presented on their behalf by Karen Brosnan, Chair of GC Board of Governors. The students awarded were, Brendan Heeney – Roscrea, Roddy Teehan – Dunkerrin, Donncha Barry – Templemore and Patrick Sammon – Shinrone.

Graduation day at Gurteen College Roscrea

Rachel Dolan receives Liffey Mills Award for Best Drystock student presented on their behalf by Karen Brosnan Chair of Gurteen College’s Board of Governors (1)

The ceremony was well attended by governors, trustees, supporting families and partners of the Graduates. As Jon Parry stated, to mark this day is so important. This is the beginning of an exciting and rewarding career for the Graduates, he wished them much success in their future. Tea, coffee and a delicious buffet spread was supplied by our fantastic catering department. Many graduates took the opportunity to proudly show their family and friends around the impressive 1000 acre farm, sharing time and stories with staff and fellow graduates.

Graduation day at Gurteen College Roscrea

Patrick Sammon receives Thurles Centenary Co-op Bursary presented on their behalf by Karen Brosnan Chair of Gurteen College’s Board of Governors (1)

Applications are now open for 2020 intake of students, with three key modes of study available, fulltime day study, part time evening study and distance learning study. The next Gurteen College open day is March 11 when potential students and their families can have guided tours of all the facilities, can to talk individually to teachers and current students.

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