Sunday 22 September 2019

World Skills medal of excellence for Pat

Múscraí fabricator pays tribute to training at Cúil Aodha Trailer Co.

Concubhar Ó Liatháin

A medallion of excellence signifying his high placing at the World Skills contest is a well earned souvenir of a trip of a lifetime to Russia for a fabricator apprentice from the Múscraí Gaeltacht.

Pádraig 'Pat Matt' Twomey, 22, from Cúm Uí Chlúmháin is just back from Kazan, an hour east of the Russian capital Moscow, where he was representing Ireland in the fabricator competition at the World Skills competition.

The son of Seán and Mary Twomey and former pupil at Coláiste Ghobnatan in Baile Mhúirne and Scoil Náisiúnta Chúil Aodha/Barr d'Ínse received a hero's welcome at local pub, the Top of Coom, on Sunday night.

Describing the experience as "incredible", Pádraig recounted working for six days in sweltering heat to complete a project which may give some cause for concern given the escalation of global tensions in recent times.

"I had to build a scale model of a tank," said Pádraig, pointing out that candidates for the ultimate prize for apprentices had to build a combine harvester and a train.

Two days were spent intially putting together the workshop in the way he wanted to set it up. In advance of the event, he had sent on his preferred tools.

Then four days were spent fabricating four different components, with each component being marked at the end of each day before being handed back to be built on the next day.

"There were 13 in the final and it was very tight between us all," explained Pádraig. "70 per cent of the marks were awarded on measurements alone so that part was vital

Pádraig finished with 70% and the ultimate winner was close to 80% and his final placing was seventh.

For much of the time the apprentices were working in 30 degree heat. "You had to keep taking water otherwise you'd be out for the count," he said.

His return from Kazan coincided with the completion of his apprenticeship and CIT course and Pádraig is now looking for a job.

"I was four years in Lynch's Trailers in Cúil Aodha and I owe a great deal to the great training I got there - I wouldn't have achieved what I did except for that," he said.

Now he's seeking fresh challenges - but not as far from Cúil Aodha as Kazan in Russia!