Sligo Toolmaker Wins IrelandSkills Final 2017

A County Sligo toolmaking apprentice has won the 2017 IrelandSkills (Plastic Die Engineering) NationalCompetition.

Micheál Flynn (pictured centre), who is employed by Tool & Gauge in Tubbercurry, scooped the top prize after an intensive two days of competition at IT Sligo.

The five finalists, spanning counties Carlow, Dublin Louth and Sligo were set a demanding preliminary test and finals competition, which took place over two days, under the guidance of Armin Phillips, toolmaking expert and lecturer at IT Sligo.

The IrelandSkills finalists hard at work in the toolroom at IT Sligo.

The judges awarded the top prize to Micheál Flynn, who’s from Tourlestrane in south Sligo, and has completed Phase 4 of his toolmaking apprenticeship at IT Sligo.

“I’m delighted to win and it’s certainly a nice achievement to have my work rewarded in this way,” said

“There’s a lot work in the final. We were set the task of building a small injection mould in 14 hours which made it a tight turnaround.”

Micheál Flynn and the other finalists were set the task of building a small injector mould in 12 hours.

Presenting Micheál with his award,  John Twohig, Chairman of IrelandSkills, said: “Micheál will now be one of three toolmaking apprentices in contention for the Ireland team which will compete for international honours at the WorldSkills Finals in Abu Dhabi later this year.

(L-R): Dr Brendan McCormack (President IT Sligo), Úna Parsons (Head of Engineering & Design), Micheál Flynn (IrelandSkills 2017 Toolmaking Winner), John Twohig (IrelandSkills Chair) & Armin Phillips (Toolmaking Expert IT Sligo).

Congratulating all the finalists on reaching this stage of the competition, Úna Parsons, Head of School of Engineering & Design at IT Sligo said:  “Toolmaking has been an intergral part of IT Sligo’s teaching activity  since the college’s inception in the 1970s. Our recent investment in new plans to establish a Precision Engineering Centre of Excellence for the Institute is a 21st century reflection of that heritage.”

Photo Caption:
Micheál  Flynn (pictured centre) from Tool & Gauge, Tubbcurry, Co Sligo, was the 2017 IrelandSkills National Toolmaking competition winner.