Honours galore at Gurteen graduation day

Almost 200 students graduated from agriculture programmes at Gurteen College at a ceremony held last Friday, January 24.

Each of the students were presented with their certificates by outgoing principal Mike Pearson, who is set to retire in March after 20 years in the role.

Speeches were also given on the day by recently appointed principal Jon Parry, John Parkin and lecturer Joe Daly.

A number of special awards were made during the ceremony in the college, located in Ballingarry, Co. Tipperary.

The Irish Holstein Friesian Association (IHFA) sponsored two awards for the top dairy student at Gurteen, presented by IHFA chief executive Charles Gallagher and president Patrick Gaynor.

A first prize was presented to Niall Slattery, from Templederry, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, and second to Sean Quinlan from Clermont, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, according to the college.

L-R: Patrick-Gaynor, IHFA-president; students Sean Quinlan and Niall Stattery; and IHFA chief executive Charlie Gallagher

Liffey Mills sponsored an award for the best drystock student, which went to Rachael Dolan from Lough Rea, Co. Galway. This was presented on behalf of Liffey Mills by Karen Brosnan, chair of the college board of governors.

Karen Brosnan with Rachael Dolan

Level 6 dairy certificate students were congratulated on raising €365.70 for Focus Ireland; a cheque was accepted on behalf of Focus Ireland by trustee of the college John Parkin.

Gurteen dairy certificate students presenting a cheque for Focus Ireland to John Parkin

In addition, Centenary Co-Op Thurles awarded four bursaries on the day.

Once again presented by Karen Brosnan, these bursaries were awarded to: Brendan Heeney from Roscrea, Co. Tipperary; Roddy Teehan from Dunkerrin, Co. Offaly; Donncha Barry of Templemore, Co. Tipperary; and Patrick Sammon from Shinrone, Co. Offaly.

The ceremony was attended by governors, trustees, supporting families and partners of the graduates.

In a statement, Gurteen College highlighted that applications are now open for the 2020 intake of students, with three key modes of study available.

The next Gurteen College open day is March 11 when guided tours of college facilities will be available for prospective students and their families, who can to talk individually to teachers and current students.