The inaugural graduates from a ground-breaking degree course at the former Sligo RTC are returning to Sligo this Saturday, September 3rd, for a special reunion.
The college’s degree programme in Environmental Science and Technology was a milestone in the Irish third level sector when it was first established in 1982. It was the first degree course of its kind in the Republic of Ireland, and among the first degree courses in the RTC sector. It helped establish Sligo RTC’s reputation as a national leader in Environmental Science education, and led to the creation of an active research programme in the second half of the decade.
16 of the 21 original graduates will gather on the campus of IT Sligo this Saturday for a special reunion. They’ll be joined by current and former lecturing staff members from the School of Science.
The course was devised and developed in the early 1980s by small group of visionary academics.
“It was a trailblazing course at the time,” recalls Paddy Cashell, who was then Head of School of Science at Sligo RTC in the eighties. We were breaking new ground, as were a number of RTCs across the sector.”
The 30-year reunion is the brainchild of one of the original students – Emer Bell, who’s from Sligo.
“The class of 86 have done very well for themselves in the Environmental Science space since graduating from Sligo,” Emer says. “While many of us of us are scattered across the world, there is still a connection with the college. Some are travelling from as far away as Australia this weekend. So, it will be wonderful to re-connect with old classmates again, to reminisce on days gone by, and to see how IT Sligo, as it is known today, has changed and evolved.
The returning graduates will be joined by former lecturers from their student years. The group will get a guided tour of IT Sligo’s modern 72-acre campus – a far cry from the two story ‘concrete block’ building of the early 1980s.
The Environmental Science & Technology Class of 1986 in the former Sligo RTC
Back row (L-R): Patrick McGreal, Noel McGloin, Ultan Byrne, Leonore Gilligan, John Durkan, Brendan Mullen, Peter Quigley
Middle row (L-R:)): Hugh Henry, Emer Bell, Martin Rattigan, Marie Doyle-Henry, Des Moore, Helga Mullins, Des Bannon
Front row (L-R): Carl Kilroy, Maura McNulty, Vincent O’Malley, Breege Rooney, Owen O’Malley, Angela Hamrock-Fox, Gearoid Duffy.