Donegal Engineers Week a Huge Success



Engineers from Donegal County Council explain the Engineering involved in design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure such as water treatment works, roads, bridges and housing to students at the Engineering Showcases in Donegal Town during Engineers Week.

Engineers Week, the annual campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers and excite students about the possibilities a career in engineering can offer, took place in Donegal from Sunday 8th to Saturday 14th February.

As well as the many events around the country Engineers Ireland Donegal Region hosted a number of events for primary and secondary school students in the county.

Also on Monday 9th a special visit to City of Derry Airport was arranged for a limited number of students from Scoil Mhuire NS in Stranorlar. The visit showed the children the excitement of working in a busy airport as well as the infrastructure which has to be designed, built and maintained by Engineers to allow the airport to work.

On Monday the 9th The Magical Science and Engineering Show was held in Letterkenny Institute of Technology for 7 to 12 year olds.  The objective of the show was to stimulate curiosity and imagination within students so that they ultimately left the show wanting to embark on the many problem-solving and design tasks set by Science and Engineering.  The event proved very popular with young students booking out quickly with over 300 children attending.

Derry Airport

Students from Scoil Mhuire NS in Stranorlar get a chance to experience the air traffic control tower at City of Derry Airport as part of Engineers Week.

On Wednesday the 11th and Thursday the 12th over 250 transition year students from 12 second level schools attended Careers Showcases in Letterkenny and Donegal Town. Over 20 different organisations working in Donegal, Derry and Tyrone hosted stands at these events. The Engineers present at these events work in the private and public sector in roles including Software Engineering, Electricity Generation, Environmental Engineering, Transportation, Manufacturing, Civil Engineering and Construction in addition to this staff from LYIT were in attendance to provide students with information about the wide range of Science and Engineering related courses on offer at the IT.



 Local Engineers working in Donegal, Derry & Tyrone get ready to share their vast engineering experience with secondary school students from across the county at the Engineering Showcases in Letterkenny during Engineers Week

Karen Kane a Chartered Engineer who attended the events on behalf of AECOM Consulting Engineers commented ‘The Career Showcase was a huge success it provided students considering their career options with the opportunity to meet and ask local Engineers about the academic path to becoming an Engineer as well as the day to day experience of working as an Engineer”



An Engineering lecturer from LYIT explaining the finer points of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering to secondary school students at the Engineering Showcases in Letterkenny during Engineers Week.

Noreen Durning Engineers Ireland School Liaison Officer said that “The Donegal Region of Engineers Ireland is delighted that there has been such an excellent response from schools to these events.  The number of students attending over the past few days has been very encouraging; It was great to see the level of interest and enthusiasm shown by students considering a career in Science and Engineering.



Jamie Corry Civil Engineer with Whitemountin Quarries Ltd. explains the use of cutting edge Global Position Systems (GPS) used by Engineers to create detailed digital land maps and ground models to students at the Engineering Showcases in Letterkenny during Engineers Week.

Stephen Flynn, Chartered Engineer and Chairman of Engineers Ireland Donegal Region said “I would like to thank the members of Engineer Ireland Donegal Region, the staff of LYIT and the local companies who attended our events during Engineers Week.  Our theme this Engineers Week was ‘Engineering is for Everyone’ and I think the events held during the week really did illustrate to students that this is the case.  Given that women are currently under represented in the engineering profession it was particularly encouraging to see the number of secondary school girls in attendance at these events and the level of interest they showed in a possible career in Engineering’.


Engineers from ESB Networks discuss the Engineering design, construction and maintenance required to provide us with the electricity that powers our every day lives at the Engineering Showcases in Letterkenny during Engineers Week.



Representative from Abbott Ireland explain how engineers are designing and manufacturing diagnostic and medical devices to students at the Engineering Showcases in Donegal Town during Engineers Week.

John Power, chartered engineer and director general, Engineers Ireland, said: “Engineers Week is now in its ninth year and it is encouraging to see a steady increase in the number of students choosing to study engineering at third level. Engineers are in demand in Ireland because they are essential to the growth and development of our country. In the past few decades, engineers have changed the world by creating the internet, mapping the human genome and helping to send astronauts into space. Right now, engineers are working on innovative projects from solar energy to synthetic organs, driverless cars to virtual reality headsets.”

Mr Power continued, “Students of engineering develop an invaluable set of skills that serve as a strong career foundation and it is important that we educate students and parents about the opportunities in engineering. Engineers Week allows us to engage with pupils and spark their enthusiasm for engineering.”



Notes to editor:

Engineers Ireland is one of the largest representative bodies on the island of Ireland, with over 22,000 members. The membership incorporates all disciplines of the engineering profession in Ireland across industry, the public service, semi-state organisations and academic institutions.


Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme is a strategic partner of Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Discover Programme, collaborating on the delivery of Smart Futures – a flagship programme that seeks to promote awareness of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) careers among young people and their influencers.


Donegal Sports Star January Review

English stars in January review

by Declan Kerr

Mark English DSSA 2014

Sean O’Rourke, RTÉ Broadcaster with Joanne English who accepted the ‘Donegal Sports Star of the Year Award’ on behalf of her brother Mark English

On the weekend that he was crowned the Overall 2014 ‘Donegal Sports Star of the Year’ Mark English again demonstrated his pedigree as one of Ireland’s elite athletes by running a new 800m personal best (1:46:59) in an international medley relay in New York helping his country to second place just behind the USA. English’s Irish team also set a new record themselves for the distance medley with a time of 9:25:37.

That was arguably the highlight of the January review where athletics scooped another of the top awards at the Donegal Sports Star function in the Mount Errigal Hotel as Tirconaill AC’s Karl Griffin became the first winner of the ‘Young Sports Person of the Year’ category. The previous week Griffin had won the U-23 800m in a time of 1.51.18 at the Irish National Junior and U-23 Indoor Championships at the AIT International Arena. At the same championships Finn Valley’s John Kelly took the Junior Men’s Shot Putt title throwing 17.65 and the medal colour was also gold for his club colleague Arlene Crossan in the Long Jump (5.64) which was a new personal best while the Letterkenny girl took silver in the 400 metres.

Following her European cross-country senior bronze medal for Ireland before Christmas the Irish captain Anne-Marie McGlynn was named the Irish Times ‘Sportswoman of the Month’ for December. The Raphoe Men’s Hockey side progressed to the Irish Trophy semi-finals thanks to a 5-4 penalty strokes win over South Antrim after the match had ended 2-2 following extra-time.

It went someway to making up for the bitter disappointment when Raphoe lost out on penalties 5-4 after extra-time to Portadown in the Linden Cup Final at Deramore on New Year’s Day. The sides had been tied at 2-2 at the end of normal time with Matthew Lecky getting the two Raphoe goals.

Mulroy College Milford booked their place in the FAI Schools Senior ‘B’ Girls All-Ireland Final with a 4-2 win over Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet at the Showgrounds in Sligo. Martin McHugh’s Sligo IT scored a super win over Queen’s University in a preliminary round Sigerson Cup tie in Belfast. His two sons Mark and Ryan were members of the team that recorded the 1-9 to 0-8 victory along with Stephen Doak (St. Michael’s) while other squad members included Eoin McHugh (Kilcar), Ciaran Thompson (Naomh Conaill), Stuart Johnston (St. Nauls) and Ryan Malley (Ardara).

Geraldine McLaughlin’s stunning performances for Termon in the run to the All-Ireland Final triumph was marked twice in the last week of January when the star forward was named ‘Ulster Ladies Club Player of the Year’ and she also received the ‘Brendan McDaid Memorial Special Achievement’ Award at the Donegal Sports Star Awards. On the same night the Termon Ladies were also named ‘Team of the Year’ while Francie Friel was a most popular winner of the ‘Manager of the Year’s accolade.

It was a good month for badminton as the Donegal U17 Division 1 and Division 2 sides successfully defended their respective Ulster Inter-League Championship titles at the Jim Watt Centre in Garvagh. In athletics Letterkenny AC’s Peter Gibbons had an excellent run in the U-20s race at the Celtic Nations International in Dunboyne, Co. Meath. He was a member of the four man Ulster team that picked up a bronze medal.

At the National Junior and U-23 Indoor Championships at the AIT International Arena Finn Valley’s Liam McDevitt and Tirconaill AC’s Conal Mahon took silvers in the 400m U-23 race and U-23 Triple Jump (17.44) respectively. Finn Valley’s Blathnaid Patton was also among the medals.

There was plenty of success for Donegal at the Ulster Indoor Championships in Magherafelt. There was gold for Letterkenny AC’s Precious Aduka (U12 Shot Putt), David Smith (U14 800m), Stephanie Okoh (U14 Long Jump, Liam Keane (U14 Shot Putt), Meave Rafferty and Chantelle Gibson (Walk); gold also for Finn Valley’s Arlene Crossan (U17 Long Jump), Dylan Kearns (U17 Long Jump), Jade Leeper (U19 Shot Putt), Sommer Lecky (High Jump, U16 Long Jump), Janine Boyle (60m, U17, 200m), Paul Johnston (U19, 60m), Pauric Harold (U15 Long Jump), Lauren Callaghan (U14, 60 metres, U14 Long Jump), Keeva Thompson (U12 High Jump), Michaela Byrne (U14 High Jump), Chloe Coyle (U16, 800m), Aaron McGlynn (800m), James Kelly (Shot Putt), Daniella Jansen (U14, 800m), Aine Kerr (U15 Long Jump), Kieran Costin, Alex McGeehan (U15 High Jump) and Kieran Thompson in the High Jump.

Also in Magherafelt Kate McGowan (Tirconaill AC) won the 400m U-19. And from the same club there was gold for Niamh Mohan (U12 Long Jump), Caolan O’Callaghan (U19 High and Triple Jumps), Eva McMullan (U19 200m). Tirconaill was also first in the Girls U12 4 x 100m relay.

There was also seven golds for Lifford AC in Magherafelt including Aaron McGrath (U13 Long Jump and 60m), Niall Quinn (U15 60m and 800m), Olivia Cuskelly (U14 1000m Walk, Conor McGinley (U16 Boys 1500m) and Alan McGinley (U17 800m). Rosses AC’s Patrick Marry won gold in the U13 Long Jump. The Inishowen AC relay team of Adam Whoriskey, Seamus Harley, James Loughney and Lughan Devenney won the 4 x 200m relay.

There was disappointment for St. Eunan’s College in the U19A All-Ireland Cup Final losing out to Ard Scoil Rathangan 70-67 after having a commanding lead earlier in the decider. In the middle of the month Letterkenny man Stephen McMonagle, who fights out of the Holy Trinity Club in Belfast, lost out in his bid for a place the Irish Senior Heavyweight Boxing Final going down to Kenneth Okungbowa. Buncrana lad Jordan McGinley secured a move to full time cycling after signing up with Team iTap having previously been with the North Pole and Errigal clubs.

On the first Sunday in January Rory Gallagher’s reign as Donegal senior football team manager got off to a poor start as his team lost heavily to Derry in a McKenna Cup group game at Owenbeg. The following week Gallagher got a first competitive win under his belt as Donegal defeated Queen’s University Belfast 2-16 to 1-8 at McCumhaill Park. However, despite a narrow one point win over Fermanagh in Ballyshannon the Donegal senior football team made their exit from the McKenna Cup. On the last night of the month Gallagher and his Donegal side opened their Division 1 campaign with a 1-15 to 0-12 victory over Derry at McCumhaill Park.

The St. Eunan’s U-21 side advanced to the semi-final of the Paddy McLarnon Club competition thanks to an extra-time 1-8 to 0-9 win over St. Peter’s, Warrenpoint in Belfast. It was a late Lee McMonagle goal that forced the quarter-final to extra-time where the only two points scored during both periods came from the Letterkenny side courtesy of Darragh Mulgrew and Jordan McBride. Three Donegal girls Marie O’Reilly and Aine McGettigan (both Loreto Convent Letterkenny) and Lauren McElwaine (Loreto Community School Milford) received Ulster Post Primary All Star Awards at a function in Kelly’s Inn.

In the middle of the month Rory Kavanagh announced his retirement from the Donegal senior football team after nearly a dozen years. Coaliste Ailigh won their first senior school’s GAA title thanks to a 1-12 to 0-9 triumph over Ballinamore College while St. Catherine’s Killybegs took the U16B County Vocational Schools title with a narrow 2-10 to 2-9 win over Coaliste Ailigh, Letterkenny at the Pobailscoil Gweedore grounds.

In motor cycling Kilmacrennan’s Caolan Irwin was presented with his Ulster Champion title for his success in the 125cc GP Newcomers Short Circuit Championship at La Mon Hotel in Belfast. There was also good news for the 14-year-old Kilmacrennan lad who will step up to compete for Team Wylie Racing in the British Championship Moto 3 Class. In the first week of the month Burtonport man Joseph Duffy signed a multi-fight deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) the biggest Mixed Martial Arts organization in the world.

In rugby Letterkenny native Kieran O’Gorman was named in the Ireland Club extended 32 man squad for two international fixtures. O’Gorman plays his club rugby with Old Belvedere in the Ulster Bank League. The Donegal Youth League advanced to the knockout stages of the national competition thanks to Gareth Doherty’s goal in a 1-0 win over Inishowen at Maginn Park at the beginning of the month. Two Donegal girls Amy Boyle-Carr and Tyler Toland were named on the Republic of Ireland U-15 squad for a trip to Scotland in April. Boyle-Carr is a student at Glenties Comprehensive School while Toland is from St. Johnston.


In the middle of January five Donegal girls the Lagan Harps trio of Caoimhe Walsh, Ciana Brogan and Zoe Green along with Niamh McLaughlin (Greencastle F.C.) and Aoife McColgan (Illies Celtic F.C.) were members of the Republic of Ireland U-16 squad that had a 1-0 over Northern Ireland at Oriel Park in Dundalk.  Carndonagh C.S. won the FAI Schools Senior Girls Ulster Cup Final by overcoming Loreto Convent Letterkenny 4-2 in Inch.  And there was to be a double success for Carndonagh who also lifted the FAI Schools Ulster Junior Girls title thanks to a 4-3 penalties win over Mulroy College Milford after the final had ended 2-2 following extra-time.

Cockhill keeper Lee McCarron and Oisin Hassett, Newtowncunningham made their international debuts for the Republic of Ireland Schoolboys in a 1-1 draw with Australia in Dublin while Quigley’s Point Swifts Aaron McColgan featured twice for the Republic of Ireland U15s against Scotland in Listowel, Kerry. The Irish lost the first game 3-1 before drawing with the Scots in the second match.

The LYIT secured their place in the quarter-finals of the CFAI Umbro Cup with a 1-0 home win over IT Carlow thanks to a goal from Cathal McHugh. There was disappointment for Pobalscoil Gweedore who lost out very narrowly 4-3 on penalties in an FAI Schools All-Ireland ‘B’ semi-final against Our Lady’s Belmullet.

Six Donegal lads attended a Republic of Ireland U19 training camp in Dublin including Chris Flanagan (Letterkenny); Aidan McCauley (Moville), Ronan Curtis (St. Johnston), Joe McIntyre (Donegal Town) and Burt duo Patrick McClean and Georgie Kelly.  Four Letterkenny Rovers players Adrian Delap, Daire O’Baoill, Jason McGee and Gareth Doherty were part of a home based squad involved in trials for the Republic of Ireland U-18 side.