Teagasc has appointed Paul Hennessy as the new Principal in the Teagasc Agricultural College in Kildalton, Pilltown, County Kilkenny. He takes over from Frank Murphy who has taken up a position as Curriculum Development and Standards Manager in Teagasc, after 14 years as principal in Kildalton.

Paul Hennessy graduated with Degree in Agricultural Science from UCD in 1978. He completed a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies (Farm Financial Management) from Waterford Institute of Technology in 2003.

Paul commenced his career as a Temporary Instructor in Agriculture with County Kilkenny Committee of Agriculture before being appointed as the Midlands Training Officer with the Farm Apprenticeship Board. In 2000/02 he was also teaching part-time in Gurteen Agricultural College. When FAB was assimilated into Teagasc in 2002, Paul was appointed as an Education & Training Specialist with the Curriculum Development Unit. In 2006, he was appointed as Teagasc National Placement Officer responsible for the management and co-ordination of student placements on host farms. In 2010 Paul took on additional responsibility as Quality Assurance Officer providing external authentication of standards for all Teagasc courses.

Congratulating Paul on his appointment, Head of Education in Teagasc, Tony Pettit said:” Student numbers on Teagasc run courses are at an all time high and Teagasc is fortunate to have someone of the calibre of Paul to lead the delivery of education courses in Kildalton agricultural college and to contribute to the national education management team in Teagasc to lead agricultural education in Ireland.”

Speaking after his appointment Paul Hennessy said: “I look forward to working with the staff and students of Kildalton College and other stakeholders in delivering quality Fetac and Hetac courses in agriculture and horticulture. Quality education is critical to the sustainability of the agricultural industry and we have a wonderful range of agricultural and horticultural courses on offer at Kildalton College. Students have the opportunity to get valued Level 5 and Level 6 Fetac qualifications and may also progress to Hetac awards at Level 7 and Level 8 through our links with the Institutes of Technology.”

Close on 2,000 learners have enrolled in agricultural college further education programmes and Teagasc linked higher education programmes for the 2014/15 academic year. This is a continuation of the very strong underlying demand for Teagasc courses of recent years. Teagasc has also seen an exceptional level of demand for its part time and distance education Green Cert courses. Teagasc has received almost 1,500 applications for its Green Cert courses. This is about three times the normal level of applications. On an annual basis over 3,500 learners participate in Teagasc further education programmes and linked higher education programmes. In addition Teagasc provides customised short courses to 5000 or so adult farmers and agri-industry personnel annually.