Fire service personnel from Dublin and Wexford who are graduating from LYIT along with LYIT staff.
Almost 1,200 students from all over Ireland and further afield will graduate from Letterkenny IT (LYIT) in the coming days.
The majority of the graduations take place today at the Letterkenny campus while the remainder will take place at the Killybegs campus on Wednesday, November 1st.
The conferring of awards ceremonies will see a huge mix of graduates from regular CAO applicants to mature students, domestic and international students, and people completing studies on a full-time or part-time basis; all completing a plethora of different courses, at different levels.
A Dublin Fire Brigade vehicle was a regular sight in the LYIT car park over the last two years. Every Thursday for three semesters a group of seven students travelled from Dublin to attend lectures for the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Fire Safety Engineering. Their aim was to achieve an honours degree, following on from having completed a part-time Bachelor of Engineering Tech (Ord) in Fire Safety Engineering at DIT. The part-time mature students were all in employment in fire services – with Dublin Fire Brigade, Dublin Airport Authority, Iarnród Éireann and Wexford County Council. Such was their routine or enthusiasm that on occasions they reportedly were in class before any of the local students got there at 9.30 am.
Cathal Ryan, one of the graduates said: “I was part of a group of six firefighters and one Iarnród Éireannn staff member that have recently achieved our Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Fire Safety Engineering at LYIT. We considered ourselves very lucky to have received an offer of a place on this programme but it was not without its difficulties. The average travel time from Dublin was a seven-hour round trip every Thursday beginning at 4.30am with others having to travel further before you even sat down to a lecture.
"The incredible professionalism and excellent tutors in LYIT made this trip a whole lot easier. Our time spent in LYIT was invaluable with our development as fire engineers and I would like to give a special mention to Rory McShane, Paddy Lennon and; Anne Bonner for their support and assistance throughout this programme. I’d also like to thank the chief fire officer of Dublin Fire Brigade, Mr Patrick Flemming for his continued support and assistance throughout this whole programme.
"Finally, I’d personally like to congratulate and compliment my fellow students on their amazing achievement, we’ve been through so much together since 2011 in DIT, marriages, babies born and loved ones lost, I’d like to wish them all the very best in their future endeavours. Well done guys.”
Speaking about this particular group of students and the programme, Anne Boner (Head of Department of Civil Engineering and Construction) outlines, “The BSc (Hons) in Fire Safety Engineering has been running at LYIT since 2001. Typically one or two students each year choose to complete the one-year add-on over two years and normally this involves attending classes two days a week. When approached by the DIT ordinary degree graduates, we took into consideration what they had already covered and came up with a programme which meant they could complete their honours degree in 20 months attending one day a week during term time. It was a tall ask for students to complete an eight hour day on top of travelling to and from Letterkenny but, with work and family commitments precluding a longer stay, the group jumped at the chance to come to Letterkenny and judging on the results achieved, they gave it their all and it was well worth their effort.”
As this specific group of fire safety graduates look forward to Friday’s graduation ceremony and say goodbye to Letterkenny, eight further students from Dublin and Galway have already taken their place participating in this demanding day-release routine.