HATCH – A cross border initiative that educated over 420 adult learners is celebrated

On Tuesday 21st October an event was held in Castle Saunderson to celebrate the success of an education and networking programme called HATCH that was developed four years ago to support and develop entrepreneurship in the Border Region. Higher Attainment through Cross-Border Hubs (HATCH), an EU INTERREG lVA funded initiative, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, was developed in collaboration with the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN) as Lead Partner, Local Enterprise Office, Cavan (lead beneficiary) Business Institute of University of Ulster and South West College as programme delivery partners and and managed by Dympna McCarron and her team at Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre. It delivered targeted, accredited courses designed to meet the needs of the Construction & Engineering Sectors, Foreign Nationals and Female Entrepreneurs in the border region. In total participants came from the council districts of Cavan, Monaghan, Sligo, Leitrim, Donegal in the RoI and Armagh City & District Council, Cookstown District Council, Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council, Fermanagh District Council and Omagh District Council in Northern Ireland. The event was attended by the participants of the HATCH programme as well as stakeholders and representatives from right across the border counties.

Speaking at the event Dympna McCarron, Programme Manager said, “A number of targets were set at the outset of the HATCH programme including promoting entrepreneurship; support of enterprises through training; enhancing employability; developing transferrable skills; increasing confidence and capacity; and collaboration via networking. I am delighted to report that the independent research company, First Western, have found that the programme has delivered against targets and in many cases exceeded all expectations against the targets set at the outset. To-date over 420 adult learners having participated in the HATCH Programme over the four years in 36 courses. These results together with excellent accreditation and retention rates are a testimony to the commitment and dedication of all those involved.

Dympna continued, “From research conducted we know that the courses have had a positive impact on both the individuals and their businesses. Some report that their participation has led to them employing more staff as their business improved, some were able to secure promotion as a result of the qualifications they received through the programme and some became employed or indeed self employed”

There were a number of speakers at the celebration event including Shane Campbell, CEO of ICBAN; Vincent Reynolds, CEO Cavan Local Enterprise Office; Dr. John Moore, South West College; Michael McQuillan, University of Ulster; Enda Candon, CEO First Western who conducted the student research; Jerome Mullen, Hon Polish Consul in Northern Ireland; Miriam Byrne, Female Entrepreneur and CEO of City Analysts and Tomás O’Leary, Passive House Academy. Representing the students were Donata Simonaitiene, who successfully completed the English for Employability, BEC Accredited course as well as a tailored management programme; Claire McNamee represented the Female Entrepreneur Cohort; she has successfully completed the Advanced Diploma in Management Practice with the University of Ulster and Garvan Hanley, partner with Hanley Taite Architects who participated in a number of the Construction and Engineering programmes delivered by South West College.

Dympna also told the paper how she was delighted with the support HATCH has received from local media, stakeholders and students over the course of the programme. It is the combined effort of everyone that has made this programme the wonderful success it has been.


The partnership who received the funding from SEUPB under the INTERREG lVA Programme:

Front L to R; Ger Finn, Acting County Manager, Cavan County Council: Cllr Pat Treanor, Monaghan; Dympna McCarron, Programme Manager, CITC; Cllr Allan Rainey, (Chairperson ICBAN) and Cllr Winston Bennett, Cavan.

Back Row L-R: Arthur McKeown, University of Ulster; Shane Campbell, ICBAN; Vincent Reynolds, LEO, Cavan, John Moore, SWC; Padraig McNamee, South West College:  Missing from picture Gina McIntyre, SEUPB


Pictured are the Speakers at an event to celebrate the success of the HATCH Programme in Castle Saunderson on Tuesday 21st October.


Front L to R: Arthur McKeown, University of Ulster, Claire McNamee, student beneficiary, Vincent Reynolds, CEO Enterprise Board, Dympna McCarron, Programme Manager, CITC and John Moore, South West College:

Back Row: L-R: Shane Campbell, (ICBAN); Garvan Hanley, student beneficiary; Miriam Byrne, City Analysts, Tomas O Leary, Passive House Academy, Michael McQuillan, University of Ulster, Donate Simonaite, student beneficiary:

For further information contact


Dympna McCarron (Programme Manager HATCH)ManagerCavan Innovation & Technology centreDublin RoadCavan

+353 49 43 77277

+353 87 2667504



The Project Delivery Partners are:

citcCavan Innovation & Technology Centre

Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (CITC) is a key provider of leading edge, relevant and custom designed education and training programmes to managers and key personnel in businesses located in Cavan and the wider region.

The expressed aim of the company is to facilitate and support enterprise and economic development in the central border area of Ireland through the promotion of best practice in innovation, and the delivery of entrepreneurial development and capability enhancement programmes with a particular focus on training in business and the application of information and communications technology.

CITC’s strategic objectives are:

  • Enabling adults to achieve their full potential and to acquire skills in line with the economy
  • Promoting, in collaboration with state agencies, the growth of an enterprise culture
  • Providing high quality and flexible education and training, attuned to individual and employer needs
  • Encouraging more effective investment by employers in training and development to build necessary work-force skills
  • Providing local access to state of the art educational facilities and leading edge technology.

For further information contact: www.cavanitc.ie

ulsterUniversity of Ulster Business Institute

The Business Institute is a unit within the Faculty of Business and Management: Northern Ireland’s Business School at the University of Ulster. Based at Jordanstown, with the facility to operate across campuses at Belfast, Coleraine, Magee and Portrush, the Business Institute was established in response to a need for a regional centre for the provision of high impact leadership, management and organisational development initiatives. Programmes support the development needs of managers and owner managers of SMEs as well as directors and senior executives in the public, private and third sectors. The Business Institute offers in-company initiatives in addition to a wide range of open programmes and provide unparalleled local, national and international networking opportunities to its extensive client base.

The Business Institute is the former recipient of Regional and National Training Awards for a number of its development initiatives. In addition the Faculty of Business and Management at the last external assessment exercise scored a maximum 24/24 for teaching excellence and the University has acknowledged the work carried out by the Institute on its behalf through the Distinguished Fellowship Award Scheme.

For further information contact: http://www.business.ulster.ac.uk/businst/hatch.html

southwestSouth West College

South West College operates from four campuses in Cookstown, Dungannon, Enniskillen and Omagh and, covers the geographical area of counties Tyrone and Fermanagh.

South West College used the opportunity of the merger of the four college to enlarge and expand the curriculum offer to support the regional and local economy.  The College aims to provide a caring and supportive environment for all learners and a professional business-like relationship with all employers and other external stakeholders.  The South West College strives to provide a quality product to all its students and to work closely with the community in which it serves.

The South West College has 18,500 student enrolments, is involved in a number of European projects, has a staffing complement of some 500 full-time staff and a similar number of part-time staff.

For further information please contact: http://www.swc.ac.uk/news/-€1,000,000-to-deliver-business-training-to-the-central-border-area.aspx

The Lead Beneficiary of the Project is Local Enterprise Office, Cavan

Local Enterprise Office, Cavan was the lead beneficiary of funding for the HATCH Programme and is engaged in a wide range of enterprise and economic initiatives, many of which are implemented on a partnership basis in collaboration with other development agencies, including on a cross-border basis.

The LEO seeks to support and encourage new and existing enterprises through the provision of a range of enterprise supports including direct financial assistance and capability development programmes for small and micro enterprises. Enterprises in new emerging technologies are a key target for LEO, Cavan.

It plays a leading role in supporting the stimulation and growth of the entrepreneurship base in the county. As a border county entity LEO, Cavan places a high priority on developing cross border community partnerships and projects.

It works to secure funding for key projects and has been the driver of many significant local economic and enterprise initiatives implemented in the county in recent years.

For further information please contact:

The Lead Partner is ICBAN

ICBAN – Irish Central Border Area Network was established to improve the quality of life and prosperity of the Central Border Region by creating a dynamic model of best practice and partnership in cross border development.

In 1995 ICBAN was established as a network of councillors from the central Ireland/Northern Ireland border area with one common aim: to respond to the unique economic and social needs of the central border region.

ICBAN Member Councils

Northern Ireland:

  • Armagh City & District Council
  • Cookstown District Council
  • Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council
  • Fermanagh District Council
  • Omagh District Council

Republic of Ireland:

  • Cavan County Council
  • Monaghan County Council
  • Leitrim County Council
  • Sligo County Council
  • Donegal County Council

SEUPB – The Implementation Body

The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Finance in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU structural funds Programmes PEACE III and INTERREG IV designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.

The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Western Scotland.

The INTERREG IVA 2007-2013 Programme is worth €256 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders. It has two distinct priority measures to create co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable cross-border region.d sustainable cross-border region.

For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu


The COURSES offered

Course places were open to persons in employment or unemployment who were currently or had worked in the following sectors and would benefit from the suite of education and supporting networking programmes. Courses were part-time block release, commencing in Winter 2010.

Construction & Engineering Sectors

  1. Renewable Energy Applications, South West College Accredited
  2. Computer Aided Design (BIM), NOCN  Level 4 Accredited, South West College
  3. Digital Surveying), NOCN Level 4 Accredited, South West College
  4. Wind Turbine Technology, Level 3 City & Guilds, South West College
  5. Sustainable Building Design and Construction, City & Guilds, South West College

Foreign Nationals

  1. English for Employability, BEC Accredited
  2. Advanced Certificate/Diploma in Management Practice – Foreign Nationals

Female Entrepreneurs

  1. Advanced Diploma Management Practices
  2. Diploma (Level 3) in Small Business Financial Management
  3. BSc Hon Management Practices

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HATCH students celebrate graduation at the Waterfront Hall.

Published on:02 Sep 2014

HATCH students celebrate their success!

hatch grad sept

Pictured, together with their Course Director Arthur McKeown (second from the right) are some of the graduates to complete the specially designed Advanced Diploma in Management Practice – Foreign Nationals, accredited through the University of Ulster and delivered as part of the HATCH (Higher Attainment Through Cross-Border Hubs) Programme. The HATCH programme is designed to support and develop a number of groups including Female Entrepreneurs, Foreign Nationals and those from the Construction & Engineering Sector through a series of accredited programmes and networking events. The project has been part-financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. (SEUPB)

Dympna McCarron, Project Manager described the recent event held at the Waterfront in Belfast as “well -earned recognition of the commitment of the participants into the programme and a celebration of the excellent results achieved”. Arthur McKeown, Course Director commented how “ the accomplishment of these students was all the more significant as all they all studied the programme through English – their second and sometimes third language”.

The large event was also attended by graduates from the Advanced Diploma in Management Practice – Public Procurement. This programme was particularly designed for those in the Construction & Engineering Sector. Again this innovative and highly relevant programme has given students from this sector an opportunity to develop both professionally and personally. Important to the success of the HATCH programme in an overall context, is that all courses are delivered in a very supportive educational environment, accessible at local level, as all training is delivered in Cavan or Enniskillen.

For further information, please Dympna McCarron on +353 49 4377277 or email HATCHadmissions@cavanitc.ie


Nature’s Inspiration Inspires a New Retail Experience in Enniskillen

Published on:02 Sep 2014

Award winning Belfast Telegraph, Shauna Gallagher opens a new retail outlet!

Pictured below is award winning Belfast Telegraph, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012, Shauna Gallagher who has recently opened a new retail outlet at the Buttermarket in Enniskillen.

Shauna was one of the first Female Entrepreneurs to join the HATCH Female Entrepreneurs Programme in 2010 and to say that Shauna has grown personally and professionally in this time is an understatement.

From creating her own beauty range in her mums kitchen in Irvinestown, she now has her own store at the Buttermarket, Enniskillens artisan quarter. In addition, she successfully completed the Advanced Diploma in Management Practice, Female Entrepreneurs and enjoyed the programme enough to sign up for the degree year! Shauna will be completing this challenging programme at the end of September.

Despite these commitments, Shauna has also found time to enter and win a number of competitions, show casing her carefully crafted, 100% natural beauty products. This hardworking lady, has also become involved in sharing her experiences by responding to invitations to speak at a number of networking events across the province, including the BBC Entrepreneur Programme.

Speaking with Shauna about the opening of her new venture, Shauna said how she was delighted to be able to meet so many of her customers in person and ‘put a face to a name’. She also went to great lengths to explain the impact of HATCH on this journey. “My education with CITC and HATCH has played a vital part in the growth of my business it has not only given me the knowledge but also the confidence to take the steps to do so”.

The founder of Nature’s Inspiration is truly an inspiration on many fronts!

shauna 1


Representatives from the Polish Embassy visit Cavan

Published on:30 Jun 2014

Cavan Chamber of Commerce invited representatives of the Polish Embassy Trade Department to come to Cavan to discuss ways in which we can work together in a mutually beneficial way to develop business relationships between Polish and Cavan businesses


BR – L to R- Jim Fox, Przemylaw Buczkowski, Andrew O Gorman, Jacek Jedruszak, Vincent Reynolds, Dympna McCarron

Front Row – L to R – Agnieska Adamska, Lyn Sharkey and Marcella Rudden.

Cavan Chamber of Commerce invited representatives of the Polish Embassy Trade Department to come to Cavan to discuss ways in which we can work together in a mutually beneficial way to develop business relationships between Polish and Cavan businesses. This meeting took place on Friday 27th June in Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre.

According to Chamber President, Lyn Sharkey “In our efforts to promote Cavan as a place to do business, approaching the Polish Embassy seemed like an obvious starting point, since we already have a vibrant Polish Community here. There were several points to discuss including how we can further integrate and encourage Polish entrepreneurs in Cavan and how we can work together to introduce Polish and Cavan businesses who may be suitable for partnerships”

Mr Jacek Jedruszak, Commercial Counsellor and Przemylaw Buczkowski, Ist Secretary Trade and Investment Section, accompanied Ms Sharkey, and Andrew O’Gorman, Chamber Director to a meeting at Cavan Innovation & Technology. They were accompanied by Agnieska Adamska, Principal of the Polish School and an active representative of the Polish Community in Cavan. Ms Adamska, like Ms Sharkey, is a previous beneficiary of the HATCH programme.

At the meeting Dympna McCarron, Programme Manager HATCH gave Mr Jedruszak and Mr Buczkowski a presentation on the many services, supports and courses offered through the HATCH Programme. Mr Reynolds, CEO Local Enterprise Office (LEO), together with James Fox and Marcella Rudden from the LEO team, acknowledged the possibilities for building on existing relationships and partnerships between their client companies and Polish companies. Mr Reynolds detailed the synergies between Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre, the HATCH Programme and the Local Enterprise Office and the opportunity for sign posting of clients and beneficiaries to give them complete business solutions from education and networking to mentoring and micro finance.

The meeting was very positively received by all in attendance and the facilities were very impressive to our Polish guests. Mr Jedruszak and Mr Buczkowski as they were leaving said that they were very happy, encouraged and impressed by their first visit to Cavan and hoped to meet again to develop partnerships very soon.


Minister Perry visits Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre

Published on:30 Jun 2014

Minister Perry LEO

At the Launch of the Local Enterprise Office, Cavan on Thursday 15th May 2014 at Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre, John Perry TD Minister of State with responsibility for Small Business at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation. took time out to discuss the value of European Funding to the region and the successes enjoyed by participants of the HATCH Programme.
Commenting on the visit, Dympna McCarron said that it was a unique opportunity to show case the services provided to businesses and adult learners from the centre, and for the Minister to learn first had of the impacts this targeted programme is having in the border region.



Published on:28 Mar 2014

AONTAS – The Voice of Adult Learning – The Star Awards 2014


In early January, the Higher Attainment through Cross border Hubs (HATCH) Programme was nominated for a Star Award from AONTAS – the National Adult Learning Organisation. HATCH has been part-financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), with the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN) as Lead Partner. The nomination was in recognition of the exemplar work the programme has been doing in offering third level accredited programmes and networking opportunities to the Construction & Engineering Sector, Female Entrepreneurs and Foreign Nationals.

“We wanted to find a way to highlight the tremendous work of adult and community education organisations” said AONTAS Director Berni Brady. “The awards assessment process is intense. Projects must first submit an application with details about their work. They must demonstrate strong evidence of outcomes for learners. Projects are then short-listed by a panel of independent judges. The judges then meet with each of the projects shortlisted before choosing a winner. This process ensures that we can say that a STAR Award is really a mark of recognition and quality in adult learning”.

Consequently, after a month of hard deliberation, the independent STAR Awards Judging Panel drew up a shortlist of projects from 71 fantastic nominations. A total of 34 projects were shortlisted from the five categories. HATCH was shortlisted as one of the final six in the Ulster Category.

Subsequently, meetings were held around the country, where the shortlisted groups got to showcase their projects to the judges. The process culminated in an awards ceremony at the Double Tree Hotel, Dublin on the 24th February.

Speaking at the awards, Mr Paul O’Toole (CEO, SOLAS) said “The range of projects submitted for the awards this year once again highlights that learning isn’t just in the classroom. Both the providers and learners have shown that tailored, high quality learning can occur in many different formats across many different facets of life”.

Commenting on the event, Dympna McCarron, Programme Manager, HATCH said that “the nomination and short-listing was fitting recognition of the work of all the project partners in delivering the programme and of the achievements of the students across all three benefitting groups. We were delighted to be invited to the event to represent the project, its funders and the beneficiaries”.

Click on the link below to see our Aontas Star Award 2014 Certificate:



AONTAS is the National Adult Learning Organisation. It is a non government membership organisation established in 1969.

The name AONTAS is an acronym in the Irish language; Aos Oideachais Náisiúnta Trí Aontú Saorálach, meaning ‘national adult education through voluntary unification’. The word AONTAS itself is also the Irish word for ‘unity’ or ‘union’, so the intention of the founders was that AONTAS would be identified by its inclusiveness. AONTAS is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. The company is are core funded by the Department of Education and Skills.


Degrees of Success – HATCH STUDENTS Linked In and On Line

Published on:16 Dec 2013

Introducing some of the first graduates to complete the specially designed Advanced Diploma in Management Practice along with the latest group of registered students on the programme, at a University of Ulster facilitated workshop in Cavan recently.

BSC (437x219) (2)

Pictured are some of the first graduates to complete the specially designed Advanced Diploma in Management Practice along with the latest group of registered students on the programme, at a University of Ulster facilitated workshop in Cavan recently. The Advanced Diploma in Management Practice – Female Entrepreneurs, is accredited through the University of Ulster as part of the HATCH (Higher Attainment Through Cross-Border Hubs) Programme. The first group of FemalesEntrepreneurs graduated in December 2011 and since then, three more groups have registered to participate on this practical and prestigious course. The first group of women met the latest intake of students at a recent Library Tutorial held at Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre. The tutorial, reinforced the informal networking that happens between the Female Entrepreneur Groups and the partner institutions as well as the formal, remote access learning that is facilitated by the programme.

Earlier this year the programme received funding for the Graduates of the Advanced Diploma in Management Practice-Female Entrepreneurs to progress to Degree level as part of the programme. Commenting on this exciting development, Dympna McCarron, Programme Manager articulated the delight of all of the partners at being able to offer these ladies the opportunity to participate on a fully financed, management programme up to degree level, which is tailored to their business, education and personal needs in their region. This presents a wonderful opportunity for all and is testament to the value of the outputs of the programme and the commitment of students and delivery partners alike.

For more information contact:

Dympna McCarron

Programme Manager, HATCH

Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre

Dublin Road


Tel: +353 49 43 77277

E:mail: HATCHadmissions@cavanitc.ie

Web: www.cavanitc.ie/HATCH


English Language Seminar

Published on:26 Aug 2013

A seminar to help you improve your English by supported private study, to prepare for the English for Employability entry test.



Pictured are some of the students who participated on the Improving your English Pre-sessional Seminar hosted by the HATCH Programme at Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre (CITC) recently. The HATCH Programme is part-financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). This funded programme is being delivered by CITC in conjunction with South West College, University of Ulster and the Irish Central Border Area Network (ICBAN). The HATCH programme is designed to educate and provide networking support for eligible participants from the non national community amongst other benefitting groups.

Dympna McCarron, Programme Manager (HATCH) explained how the demand for the BEC Cambridge Accredited English for Employability Programme has grown in recent years. Competition for the 15 places available each year has grown steadily, so the HATCH Management Team and the Teaching Team led by Arthur McKeown from the University of Ulster decided to run a one day seminar to assist adult learners in preparing for the entrance test for the programme.

The students from all over Europe, Asia and Africa welcomed the opportunity to discover the techniques in learning English effectively, including grammar and vocabulary, as well being introduced to on line resources which would support private study over an 6 week period. The students will then sit the test which if successful, will allow them to access the 12 week English For Employability Programme which culminates in the BEC Preliminary English Exam.

Arthur McKeown, the Course Director explains how the BEC examinations assess language skills in a business context. They are part of the Cambridge ESOL range of examinations www.cambridgeesol.org and are linked to the Common European Framework of Reference Levels published by the Council of Europe, 2001.

The aim of the HATCH English for Employability Programme is to assess and develop participant’s ability to operate in English in a business or working environment. It allows candidates to demonstrate to employers their ability to communicate in English with clients and colleagues and it provides an internationally recognized examination to do this which is fair to all candidates and is delivered to international standards.

Arkadiusz Kocurkiewicz, one of the previous beneficiaries of the programme, said of the course; “the content, materials and tutor are of the highest level. Lectures were very clear and easy to understand. The possibility to repeat and practice online was very helpful and most beneficial”. As a result, Arkadiusz says that “the course made me more confident in everyday life and in the workplace. I used my new skills as a good base to start another courses and improved my career.”

For further information on this or any of the programmes support by the HATCH Programme, contact Dympna McCarron, Programme Manager, Cavan Innovation & Technology Centre, Dublin Road, Cavan. Tel: 049 4377277; E:mail: HATCHadmissions@cavanitc.ie; www.Cavanitc.ie/HATCH


“Open your mind and have the courage to try it, what have you got to lose”

Published on:01 Jul 2013

Anna Costello – Advanced Diploma in Management Practice – Female Entrepreneurs – Student Profile


Course Studied through HATCH: Advanced Diploma in Management Practice – Female Entrepreneurs

Why did you choose to study through HATCH?

I was made aware of the course through Dympna McCarron, CITC, and I was so delighted that there was an opportunity for me to grow and develop my business, which was fully funded and therefore, achievable because I had the necessary determination and commitment and HATCH were presenting an opportunity.

What were the three biggest benefits from undertaking the course through HATCH?

1. The passing of knowledge from the lecturers from the University of Ulster.

2. The opportunities which I have been presented since gaining the knowledge and skills I learned.

3. The connections I have made at a professional and personal level.

4. And if I’m allowed a 4th… The self confidence and self belief I’ve gained as a direct result.

How do you think that your course will help you in the future?

Well, already it has made such a difference! Pre- participation, I was the successful owner of a beauty salon for 8 years approximately, employing 6 people. Post participation, I have 3 businesses and employ 10 people. I continue to have our IBPA National Award Winning beauty salon. I started a new training and distribution company and have sole irish distribution for an international skincare brand – Bioline Jato (never before in Ireland or the UK), servicing both the Irish and UK market, and I have opened a hairdressers, with a view to distributing a haircare brand in the next 5 years. I am currently in Italy, having negotiated a deal with a company from Switzerland for the Irish Distributionn of their internationally recognised makeup brand, never before in Ireland. I think the course has sealed my future!

If you were to recommend the course to a friend or colleague, how would you best describe the way the course was delivered?

The course was delivered in such a manner that you could relate the learning to your own situation, therefore it was easy to retain the learning and skills. Also, I learned from one of the lecturers a very important lesson early on, you don’t need to know everything, you just need to learn the skills to manage people who have strengths which fill the gaps of your own weaknesses! No pressure! Open your mind and have the courage to try it, as what have you got to lose!

To see this interview on Cavan TV please click on the below link:



“Education is not a privelege but a responsibility for us to pass onto others”

Published on:26 Mar 2013

Susan Mc Donnell, is just one of the delighted students who recently graduated from the specially designed Advanced Diploma in Management Practice – Female Entrepreneurs Programme.

Susan McDonnell

Pictured is Susan Mc Donnell, one of the delighted students who graduated recently from the specially designed Advanced Diploma in Management Practice – Female Entrepreneurs Programme. This is one of the many accredited programmes on offer through the HATCH (Higher Attainment Through Cross-Border Hubs) Project. HATCH is designed to support and develop a number of groups including Female Entrepreneurs, Foreign Nationals and those from the Construction & Engineering Sector through a series of accredited programmes and networking events. The project has been part-financed by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body. (SEUPB)

Dympna McCarron, Project Manager described the recent event held at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown as “well -earned recognition of the inputs of the participants into the programme and a celebration of the results achieved”.

Susan herself explained her journey as follows:

“ I was delighted to be given the opportunity to participate in the Advanced Diploma in Management Practice for Female Entrepreneurs, through the HATCH programme, in 2011. I had attended many postgraduate clinical courses since obtaining my Physiotherapy Degree in 1999. However, this was the first time I entered into formal academia since then. I enjoyed enhancing my academic skills through the broad ranging media forms which have emerged over the past two decades.

I am one of the co-founders of Pilates Physiotherapy Ireland. Pilates Physiotherapy Ireland was co-founded in 2008 by 2 Chartered Physiotherapists with shared objectives and individual business models. Pilates targets the deep trunk and spinal muscles and can improve ‘normal movement’. I offer the benefits of Pilates with the expertise of a Chartered Physiotherapist in Cavan and Monaghan.

One of the reasons for starting the business was to acquire business skills, which are not required within the role of a Physiotherapist within the public service. With a diverse group of lecturers and modules, the course has greatly enhanced my business, leadership and financial knowledge. It has re-enforced how important personal development, goal setting and seeking new challenges are to my work/life balance. I now have renewed motivation to continue to set new objectives e.g. using structured financial methods. In these challenging economic times, I have learned that success does not always have to mean growth and expansion. Sustainability may also be a crucial component to a successful business!

The graduation ceremony for the course took place in University of Ulster, Jordanstown in December 2012. This turned out to be a rewarding acknowledgement of hard work and achievement, yet another motivational experience, which will continue to drive my enthusiasm. James Nesbitt, the University Chancellor and Actor made a fine speech. His words still echo in my ears when he said ‘Education is not a privilege, but a responsibility for us to pass onto others’. I will remember this as I pass on my clinical knowledge to clients and as I lead others in the future”.