Date Published: 12-May-2011
When Michael Carmody left his native Galway straight out of college to take up a job in Dublin little did he know that he would be back 33 years later as president of GMIT.
Michael, who was reared in Mervue and Dalysfort Road, Salthill, admits he had no life plan as such and was delighted when he got an opportunity to leave home to work as an engineer with the OPW (Office of Public Works). His work involved research into hydrology and was part of his Masters course under Professor Eamon Nash.
Two weeks ago he returned to Galway to take up the prestigious position of GMIT president. It’s not exactly a shock to his system as he had been president of Tralee’s Institute for the past decade, although granted it’s a much smaller campus.
But Michael comes across as a down-to-earth no nonsense type of man who is quite prepared to meet the challenges of running a much bigger campus in a city, and not just any city but his own home town!
He had just graduated from UCG (now NUIG) in 1978 when he headed to Dublin and within two years he had left the OPW to join the ESB. Still based in Dublin, he was involved in the design and managing of the Moneypoint power plant in Clare, one of the biggest projects in Ireland at that time, costing £164million.
He enjoyed every minute of his involvement with that project, one that gave him the chance to hone his engineering skills on a very real and worthwhile job. After years of theory in a lecture hall, this was a dream come true.
He had met his wife Anne in Dublin and they had started a family, which led them to thinking about moving out of the Big Smoke to the country. So in 1987, they packed up and moved to Tralee where Michael took up a lecturing post in the Institute of Technology. It was a change of scenery, both as regards location and job type, but again Michael adapted, as is his nature, and 23 years later he realised he had been there long enough.
“A decade is long enough for anyone in any position like that. I knew Marion Coy (former GMIT president) and she mentioned the job opportunity to me and I considered it. I believed it was the right move at the right time,” he says.
And his wife and three daughters, all in their early twenties, didn’t seem to mind the move to Galway. Caroline is currently in Australia, Aideen is a primary school teacher in Kerry and Niamh is a student in NUIG.
Technically, they haven’t made the final move yet, as Michael is renovating the family home in Dalysfort Road, so this really is coming full circle for him.
His dad, Michael, passed away in 1987 and his mum Anne was moved to a nursing home in Tralee three years ago, leaving the family home empty. His brother Paul runs his own business called PC Sports.
Just two weeks on the new job, Michael is still finding his way around the college campus, not to mention getting used to a new administration and staff, though he already knew some of the personnel from his Tralee position.
In 1990 he became Head of Department o
f Civil Engineering Construction in that institute, and three years later he was appointed Registrar, until he became President 10 years ago.
“I may have to get lessons to readjust my accent for here,” says Michael referring to his very slight Kerry accent. He hasn’t forgotten his Irish, something he puts down to him having gone to school in ‘the Jes,’ but admits he may have to brush up on his vocabulary.
With the increase in foreign students to GMIT through the Erasmus student exchange scheme, Michael may have to brush up on a few more languages, though in reality, he won’t have much to do with the micro-management of the college. His position has more to do with ensuring the Galway college is on the map so that it attracts not only students but investment as well.
The GMIT doesn’t have as much foreign investment funding courses as NUI Galway, but there is still a lot of promotional work to do to ensure that the links between the college and the city’s industrial and business community continue to strengthen. Already GMIT’s hotel management courses have gained a respectable international reputation involving exchanges of students from all over the world.
But Michael is still the ‘new kid on the block’ and at just two weeks into the new job hadn’t visited the GMIT’s other four campuses – nearby Cluain Mhuire where the TV and film courses are held, the furniture college in Letterfrack, the Teagasc college in Mountbellew, and Castlebar.
“I am certainly looking forward and am excited about getting to know the nuts and bolts of the campus over the course of the summer. But these first few weeks have already been busy, not only from an administrative point of view, but with business functions in the city.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.