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Inside NCI May 09 Issue 2

The magazine for friends of National College of Ireland

Newstalk Student Enterprise Competition Legends in Your Lunchtime Progressions Launch

Norma Smurfit Interview

Clubs and Societies Awards 2009

Change your Life Education Fund




President’s Welcome Welcome to the second edition of Inside NCI, the magazine for friends of National College of Ireland. We will be circulating this about three times a year, to help keep you up to date with some of the key initiatives happening at the College. The next edition is due out in September. Things have certainly changed since our inaugural issue in January. With the global economy in severe recession, to say we are living in challenging times is an understatement. However, the old adage of creativity thriving in times of economic gloom seems to be holding true, and there are some worthwhile and inspiring initiatives happening within NCI and across the country right now. A good example is the Ideas Campaign, initiated by the former journalist Aileen O’Toole to source positive ways to re-jig the Celtic economy. As an advisory board member for the campaign, I’ve had the opportunity to review the suggestions and there are some real gems. An action plan for Government, community groups and individuals is currently being produced. Within these pages you will also find details of a number of exciting projects that NCI has recently been directly involved in. One such project is Progressions, a programme that will create meaningful job opportunities in the financial services sector for 300 people over the next 3 years. Working in partnership with industry, including our principal sponsor State Street International (Ireland), this initiative will help to fill the skills gaps identified to help safeguard the future success of this key industry. As I write this, we have just finished the exams – always an anxious time for our students, and a busy time for our staff. I know that the hard work of both will be rewarded (and the library has never been so full!).

We operate in a sector that requires a complex range of individual talents. Through harnessing our collective horsepower we continually push forward towards our mission - universal access to education which changes people’s lives. At the heart of this effort lies a central core belief. Access to education should not be based on ability to pay or a particular postal address. Great teaching and a supportive environment is a recipe for success. Our job is to support NCI students – everyone who walks through our doors – on their educational journey. I want to thank everyone who has helped us in this endeavour to date: our Governing Body, staff and students, local community, alumni and friends of NCI work together to make our aspiration a reality.

Enjoy the magazine. I look forward to welcoming you back to the College soon. Best wishes

Dr. Paul Mooney President

EDITOR’S LETTER Welcome to the second edition of Inside NCI. We hope you enjoy this round-up of news, views and events from across National College of Ireland.



We were delighted to receive your feedback on our inaugural edition and hope you like the improvements we’ve made. To help us make the next edition even better, drop us a line with your feedback to or to: Emma Kytzia National College of Ireland Mayor Square, IFSC Dublin 1 We’d love to hear your views. If there’s anything you’d like us to include, just let us know.

4 8 15 In this issue


For more regular updates on what’s happening at NCI, please check out the News & Events section of our homepage at Special thanks go to all the contributors to this publication: Editor: Emma Kytzia

10 2

2009 so far in pictures


And the winner is...




Mental Health Campaign


Feature Interview: Norma Smurfit


Clubs and Societies Awards


Change Your Life Education Fund

10 12

Legends in Your Lunchtime Foundation News


In Profile: Maurice Healy


Why Irish Eyes should be smiling


At Your Service


Then and Now: Norma Smurfit Library

Editorial: Sinéad Bheilbigh Mary Buckley Beatrice Cantalejo Emma Kytzia Neal Newman Michéle Ryan Design: Gráinne McElroy Photography: Bonnie Cullen Emma Fry Grainne McElroy NCI: 01 4498500


2009 so far in pictures

The winning team at the Staff and Students’ Sports D a y , which took place on February 18th.

The Parent s Together Community Course was laun ched in February by NCI and the Pare nts Plus Charity, Mater Hospital. L-R: Dr. John Shar ry, Mater Hospital , par e n t Deirdre M elinn and Catriona Flood of N C I ’ s Learning In E a r l y itiative.

The role of workplace and lifelong learning was the subject of a major seminar in February, organised jointly by NCI and NCPP. L-R: Keynote speaker Knud Illeris, NCI’s Leo Casey, seminar chair Edna Jordan (NCPP) and Prof. Birgitte Simonsen, of the Danish Centre for Youth Research


Staff bakers laid on quite a spread for NCI’s annual Coffee Morning in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, raising a grand total of €1,140.01 in early March.

Ruth Craig, Barretstown Community Fundraising Manager, (far left) accepts a cheque for €3,500 from the NCI Fashion Society in March. Barretstown, a specially designed camp offering ‘serious fun’ for children with serious illnesses, was the chosen charity for the student fashion show in November 08.

20 month old Aoife Reid from the East Wall Toddler Group enjoying the Messy Play session in NCI’s Art Garden on April 3rd.

knot to the rmey tied the ficer Deryck To al NCI love Of re n a iso s Lia wa ol is NCI’s Scho rch 19th. Th of the McGee on Ma both students lovely Lorna en they were wh et m ir pa story as the g. ol of Computin College’s Scho


Organised by the Early Learning Initiative, the session included water, sand, paint, play dough and gloop!

Newstalk Student Enterprise Competition

And the winner is… Above: NCI students Emmet Duffy, Killian Doherty, Indre Navickaite and Oisin Kelly


t was a proud day when the team from National

The Newstalk 106 - 108 fm Student Enterprise Competition aims to foster a spirit of enterprise in students throughout Ireland.

College of Ireland were announced the winners 1300 students. of the Newstalk 106-108 fm Student 330 teams. Enterprise Competition, beating off stiff Mr Denis O’Brien, who 1 winner… competition from three chaired the competition said: other finalist teams: National College of Ireland "I congratulate the team from Institute of Technology NCI on their fantastic Carlow, Dundalk ach ievement. Their hard Institute of Technology work demonstrates what the and Cork Institute of competition is all about Technology. A record fostering a spirit of enterprise among 1,300 students from 330 teams entered this year from across the country. There were students by encouraging teamwork and huge celebrations as faculty, staff and solution-driven approaches to business students c o n g r a t u l a t e d E m m e t D u f f y , challenges. The competition aims to bridge the Killian Doherty, Indre Navickaite and Oisin gap between theory and practice and complement Kelly on their massive achievement. what the students are learning in the classroom.”

For their prize, the NCI team and their mentor, lecturer Rosalind Beere, will travel to the Caribbean where they will shadow 'real time' decision makers in the Digicel Group. Digicel is the fastest-growing telecommunications operator in the Caribbean and new entrant to the Central American market. “We are absolutely delighted to have won the competition,” said Killian Doherty, team captain. "The whole experience has given us the opportunity to put everything we’ve learned about business strategy and management into practice. We’re really looking forward to travelling to the Caribbean to observe first-hand how Digicel operates in the area.”

As winners, NCI will host the national launch and final of the 2009/2010 competition. For more details see the competition website:

The whole experience has given us the opportunity to p u t e v e r y t h i n g w e ’ v e learned about business strategy and management into practice


Main: Betty Ashe, Manager, St. Andrew’s Resource Centre, with Newstalk’s Claire Byrne at the launch


“This initiative is both practical and innovative. Hundreds of people, from our local Docklands areas and across the country, will be given laire Byrne, co-anchor of The Breakfast the chance to avail of job opportunities in the Show on Newstalk 106-108 fm, officially launched financial services industry,” said NCI President Dr. P r o g r e s s i o n s a t N C I o n Tuesday 10th Paul Mooney. “NCI has an established track record March, to an audience of over 100. for giving people from all walks of life access to a Progressions is a workforce development higher education. Progressions helps us initiative that seeks to place 300 people from communities “This initiative is both to reinforce those efforts by providing yet another opportunity for individuals across Ireland into sustainable practical and innovative. to realise their potential.” jobs in financial services and


related sectors over the next three years.

NCI’s new programme will create meaningful job opportunities that will, in turn, help to fill critical roles in the financial services industry and spur economic development.

Hundreds of people, from our local Docklands areas and across the country, will be given the chance to avail themselves of job opportunities in the financial services industry,”

Principal sponsor State Street Foundation helped to launch the initiative, with support from a wide range of industry leaders from international and domestic banks, funds, insurance, and CPL all on the advisory Board

Above Right: Pictured left to right: NCI President Paul Mooney; Director of the Inner City Renewal Group, Seanie Lambe; Newstalk 106-108 fm presenter Claire Byrne; Manager of St. Andrew's Resource Centre, Betty Ashe, and State Street CEO Willie Slattery


“Despite the economic downturn, the financial services sector must demonstrate a commitment to job creation and to the communities in which we do business,” said Willie Slattery, head of State StreetInternational (Ireland). “Progressions provides that opportunity, and we look forward to watching the students’ progress in the years ahead.”

Speaking at the launch of the programme, Newstalk’s Claire Byrne said: “This programme is outstanding for a number of reasons. It’s a practical response to both the economic reality of today and the skill requirements of tomorrow. NCI will work with young people, aged between 17 and 23; with older low-wage workers; with the unemployed and with various minority groups, and will train these individuals to fill the gaps that have been identified in the financial services sector. The entire programme can also be adapted for other industries in the future.”

L – R Ted Tierney, Deputy CEO, Mental Health Ireland with NCI students Aideen Blake, Stacey O'Reilly, Javin Li and Kieran Dooner.

Alumni News...

Congratulations to Francis Boyle in Sligo who is the lucky winner of the 2008 NCI Alumni Association draw. Francis graduated with a Diploma in First Line Management through the NCI National Campus Network. He will enjoy a luxury weekend urban retreat courtesy of our sponsor the Clarion Hotel. Francis currently works for Abbott Ireland Pharmaceutical Operations as a QA Department Team Leader .

Mental Campaign Health N

ational College of Ireland and Mental Health Ireland recently launched a Mental Health Awareness Campaign. This involved in-depth research with the College's student body on their attitudes to the following topics: • Understanding the meaning of mental health • The importance of mental health • The connectivity of physical and mental health • The emotions involved in the topic • Stigma and mental health • Treatments used in treating mental illness • The role of the media in the area of mental health • Do we know enough about mental health?

Ted Tierney, Deputy, CEO of Mental Health Ireland, said: “The findings show a high level of awareness of mental health issues among NCI’s student body. However, stigma around the area of mental health is still an issue. It is important for young people to develop

an awareness of stressors in their lives and the importance of positive coping strategies.”

Stephen Kennedy, NCI’s Student Support Officer said: “We were delighted to work with Mental Health Ireland to raise awareness of mental health issues. At NCI we work hard to promote positive mental health amongst our students, and it was great to see such a high level of awareness reflected in the survey results. To alleviate stress we would encourage our students to strike a good balance between the s o c i a l and the academic, to incorporate exercise into their daily routines and to try to get a good night’s sleep.

Most importantly, we would advise students that if they are feeling particularly stressed or worried, then the first step is to talk to somebody: this could be a fellow student, a member of the student support team or the NCI counsellor.”

For more information or to view the survey results, please visit


The Careers and Alumni Office held the "Share your Experience HR Evening" on Tuesday 24th March. Our sincere gratitude to all the NCI Alumni who volunteered to provide their professional expertise and advice to NCI students.


Best wishes to Gary Seery who has recently been promoted to IT Director of Smart Safe Intelligent Security Services. Gary is a member of the NCI Alumni Leadership Council chaired by Nora Owen.

Date for your Diary: 30th of June, 2009. NCI Alumni Online Directory goes live!

Keep in Touch


Maeve takes time to “Talk to Joe”

Feature Interview:

Norma Smurfit talks to Sinéad Bheilbigh T ell me a little about yourself.

I grew up in London. I was born within the sound of bow-bells, which makes me a real cockney. I went to an ordinary comprehensive school, left it at fifteen and went into hairdressing where I earned 22 and six pence a week. When the sixties hit London it was really exciting because there were loads of jazz clubs and we all got into the mini-mini-mini-skirts and the duffle coats. I had a very nice Italian girlfriend, so we used to go to Italy, which was unheard of in those days. We used to go on the ferry and on the train down to just south of Porta Fino, which wasn’t very smart in those days at all. And I think we were the first English girls to ever be seen in bikini’s there! I met Michael when I was twenty-one, and then we got married when I was twenty-two. How did you get involved in charity work? Were you involved in any charities before you moved to Ireland?

Norma Smurfit is Chairperson of First Step which she set up in 1991, and is recognised as one of the top businesswomen in Ireland. She is a member of the NCI Foundation Board.

My whole family are very socialist and were involved with Trade Unions. We were always very socially conscious. We always lived in council flats, I think it was that kind of background, knowing that it’s so important to have a home and preferably a job as well that started us off. I didn’t start to do much charity work until the Smurfit Company wives got together and formed the Helpers. We used to raise money for mini-buses for St Michael’s House, which were about £900 in those days. Homelessness was very prevalent in Ireland those days so we started the Irish Youth Foundation and tried to raise money all over the country for disadvantaged young people in Ireland. That was over 20 years ago and it’s still going strong. The Irish Youth Foundation in London was also founded, because at that stage, around 80% of homeless people in London were, unfortunately, young Irish people. The Youth Foundation over there had very strong committees, and still does. What other charities have you founded since then? It’s always been about young people mostly; I think you need to give them every encouragement you can. By giving young people a chance to go to a youth club or perhaps canoe or work with computers or whatever, you’re trying to get them to stay off the streets. We started First Step, which is a job creation scheme, in the late ‘70’s, ‘80’s when there was so much unemployment and we kept going and now we’re back to square one. People are now coming to us who have had good jobs for years and suddenly they’re out of work and feel they can start their own small businesses. We’re there to facilitate them. We have some funding from Government, from banks, individuals and from the EU. It’s nice that people have a chance to start their own small business and we have had over 1,500 businesses start up and our base cost is very low. Countries like Italy or India are run on small businesses. There is no reason why it couldn’t be a huge idea over here. People have ideas, they have the knowledge and experience and the skills. They don’t need to employ more than themselves or one or two other people and so that’s been very rewarding I must say.


A few of my favourite things Favourite past-time... Baking with my grandchildren Something that made you smile recently... Friend and sculptor Orla de Brí presented me with a lovely new painting of hers for my birthday.

What is your biggest challenge as a philanthropist in Ireland, especially today, given our current difficulties? Today’s difficult, we’re all cutting back. A few years ago you could charge €1,000 a ticket, now you’re way down again and the big problem is sponsorship. They’re all cutting back now, but there is more need than ever and outlets are being chopped off, but people are very generous. You have to adapt to the times and you have to keep people aware of what is going on and the need out there. What one change would you make to improve our situation? We have had 10 wonderful years and there are still so many problems out there that could have been solved in those 10 years. You know, we are only 3 million people, we’re not like the UK or Germany with 60-odd-million and I think there was so much wasted. Things could have been better. Why weren’t Fatama Mansions and these places regenerated then. Why do so many Irish schools still have pre-fabs, I mean they should have been built years ago when the money was there and the same with hospitals…I don’t know, I don’t think there is a quick–fix at all, but I think there should be more women in politics, there should be more women in business as well and on boards. And what do you think would encourage women to become more involved? It’s very difficult, women, as you know are expected to do everything. Raise their family, keep the home, keep the husband, keep looking nice and to go into another full time job…I’m sure politics is very difficult and you have to be very dedicated. Hopefully the young generation will. We are trying to encourage new people, we’re always saying on the board here in the College, let’s get some young people on the board, because it’s their future, it’s their Ireland. What motivated you to get involved with NCI? National College of Ireland helps so many people from all walks of life who never dreamt of coming to college. NCI helps these people to grow their self confidence, their self-esteem, so they feel they can do things they never thought they could. Not everyone can be billionaires or millionaires the brightest or the sparkiest, but I think if you are happy and you have a nice home and a good job and try and keep your kids off drugs and drink, that’s all people can hope for I think, and do something for others if they can.

Favourite Movie... Cinema Paradiso/Singing in the Rain, Cartoons Favourite Food... Fish and Chips Favourite Song... Anything by Neil Diamond Favourite Place... Tuscany What do you like most about yourself? I am always busy and active. What is your favourite drink? A nice Italian or Spanish red. Favourite Writer... Anita Shreve Three people you would love to have at a dinner party... David Attenborough Gene Kelly Picasso Person you most admire... Charles Darwin


Clubs and Societies Awards & Formal Ball O

ver 200 students and staff members attended the National College of Ireland Clubs and Societies Awards and Formal Ball, which took place on Thursday 12th March in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry. The annual awards officially recognise the achievements of the various clubs and societies at NCI, and acknowledge the talent, commitment and determination of individual students and teams. The awards are one of the most prestigious and eagerly anticipated events in the student calendar and are immediately followed by a black tie formal ball. Special guest Ken Doherty presented the award for the 'Club Event of the Year'. The former world champion is renowned as a clever tactician, and is the only player to have been both world amateur (1989) and world professional champion (1997).

And the winners are… •Peer Mentor of the Year Aideen Blake - 2nd Year Higher Cert in Computing •Fresher of the Year Zara McIntyre - 1st Year Higher Cert in Business •Sports Day - Whispering Eye •Gaelic Football Player of the Year - Sean Curran •Best Athlete - Shane Doyle •Best New or Improved Society Wargames •Best New or Improved Club Ultimate Frisbee •Society Individual of the Year Aoife O'Grady - Fashion Society •Club Person of the Year Karen Hudson - Ladies GAA Club

Snooker legend Ken Doherty was this year’s special guest, and the latest addition to NCI’s Foundation Board.

•Society Event of the Year 'Fashion Show' •Club Event of the Year 'Men's Golf Intervarsities' •Society of the Year - Reachout

NCI lecturers Brian Hayden and Desmond Gibney.

Above: Karen Hudson, President of Ladies GAA Club (left), with Kate Clarkin, President of the Sex and the City Society.

•Club of the Year Men's and Ladies Golf •President’s Award Killian Doherty - 2nd Year BA Honours in HRM

Students’ Union President Kelly Scales with Killian Doherty, recipient of the President’s Award.

NCI students enjoying the night.


With the economy in crisis and so much uncertainty over jobs and careers, now just might be the time for a change. National College of Ireland have teamed up with Metro to offer one lucky individual a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change their lives, upgrade their skills and acquire the qualifications and confidence to succeed.

The winner will earn an amazing prize package including an educational fund worth €20,000 and €15,000 in other supports, like personal mentoring, computer equipment and even a style package worth €1,000. Contestants just need to answer one simple question: Why do you want to change your life, and how could education help? NCI President Paul Mooney said: “National College of Ireland is all about working with people to help them achieve their potential. We know that education changes people’s lives and we will provide the winner of this contest with every support possible to help them to change theirs.” Metro Editor Chris Cowley said: "In an increasingly competitive job market, this prize will help one lucky person to stand out from the crowd. As well as the generous education fund, the winner will receive all the tools and support they need to update their professional image and present themselves in the best possible light.”


NCI and Metro have come up with a truly life-changing prize package for one lucky reader, which includes: ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

An education fund worth €20,000 Training needs analysis & skills sessions, worth €5,000 Mentoring throughout the programme , worth €5,000 Two sessions with a top executive coach, worth €2,000 Laptop and software, worth €1,000 €500 Book Allowance Personal fitness assessment & gym membership, worth €500 ... Style package worth €1,000

Case Study:

Denis Cahill (National Certificate in Business Studies, NCI), pictured above with his daughter Eilish Rose: “Studying at NCI has really changed my life. Returning to the classroom was intimidating at first but the tutors, staff and fellow students have all been so encouraging and inspiring. I have been amazed by what I can achieve. The changes extend far beyond the classroom: I have more confidence, my communication skills have improved and I find it easier to interact with my children. This is my second course at NCI and when I finish, I want to go on and study something new.”

How to enter:

Simply visit the competition page on the NCI website,, to download an application form and the contest terms and conditions. If you can’t access the website you can contact Emma Kytzia on 01 4498652 or to receive a copy by email or post. All applications must be in English or Irish, and have to be submitted no later than 5.00pm on Tuesday 28th July.


Dermot also has a very strong link with the mission here at NCI, which is principally concerned with dismantling barriers to education, opening doors that have always been closed and giving people a second chance at a better life.� Stephen Kennedy, NCI Student Support Officer

Legends i n You r Lu n cht im e F

Mr. Desmond told the packed audience of over 200 people that he predicts an end to the recession in 2012, and called for the establishment of a national think-tank – which he would be happy to participate in. “We have the intellectual capital. Intellectual capital is far more scarce than financial capital”, he said.

Project Showcase School of Computing 28th May 11am - 2pm

Insight Series: Manage More with Less? with NCI President Paul Mooney 18th June 11am – 4pm

inancier Dermot Desmond kicked off the second series of Legends In Your Lunchtime, the free lunchtime leadership events run by NCI in partnership with Newstalk 106-108 fm and Metro. These events aim to uncover the personal and professional experiences of a wide range of great modern leaders.

Stephen Kennedy, NCI’s Student Support Officer, introduced Mr. Desmond as the “founding father of the IFSC, an eclectic investor with the Midas touch”. He said: “Dermot is a major player on the world stage with an impressive portfolio of investments spanning football clubs, software companies, luxury hotels and banks. He has amassed an incredible fortune but he does not horde it, he shares it. He has earned a reputation for putting corporate social responsibility at the very top of his agenda. He is Chairman of Respect, a charity set-up by the Daughters of Charity to raise funds for people with intellectual disabilities. Dermot also has a very strong link with the mission here at NCI, which is principally concerned with dismantling barriers to education, opening doors that have always been closed and giving people a second chance at a better life.”

Legends in Your Lunchtime with Rev. Ian Paisley 27th May 1 -2pm

Part-time Courses Information Evening 17th June 5-6.30pm

Left: Newstalk 106-108 presenters George Hook and Claire Byrne helped launch the series. Right: NCI students Aideen Blake and Kieran Dooner with Dermot Desmond

Mr. Desmond, who is chairman of International Investment & Underwriting, chatted to Newstalk's Claire Byrne on April 27th. Famous for conceiving the establishment of Ireland’s Financial Services Centre in 1987, Mr. Desmond has also been involved in numerous high profile investments including: London City Airport, Baltimore Technologies plc, Esat Digifone, Pembroke Capital, Greencore plc & Vivas Healthcare – to name but a few! He was also part of the successful consortium that bid for Ireland’s first independent commercial National Radio Licence.

NCI Events

Part-time Courses Information Evening 9th July 5-6.30pm Part-time Courses Information Evening 28th July 5-6.30pm

The series continues on May 27th, when George Hook, presenter of Newstalk’s drivetime show, The Right Hook, will talk to Rev. Ian Paisley about his experiences throughout a career spanning more than five decades. In addition to co-founding and leading the Ulster Democratic Unionist Party - from 1971 to 2008 - Paisley is a founding member and immediate past Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Further speakers in this popular series include: Leslie Buckley, business consultant and founding director of Digicel, on Wednesday 30th September; Maeve Donovan, Managing Director, The Irish Times, on Wednesday 7th October; Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos, on Wednesday 28th October, and Eamonn Fallon, Chief Executive of Daft Media on 11th November. These events will build on the popularity of the last series, which included Giovanni Trapattoni, BA’s Willie Walsh, Bill Cullen and O2, Ireland chief, Danuta Gray. Over 2,000 people attended the events: additionally, there were 10,000 downloads of the podcasts from the Newstalk 106-108 fm website, making the Legends talks the current no. 1 download from that site. All events take place from 1 to 2pm at National College of Ireland in Dublin’s IFSC, are free of charge and open to the public - but attendees must register at

Part-time Courses Information Evening 19th August 5-6.30pm

Part-time Courses Information Evening 3rd September 5-6.30pm

Part-time Courses Open Day 5th September 11am – 2pm Part-time Courses Information Evening 15th September 5-6.30pm

Legends in Your Lunchtime with business consultant Leslie Buckley 30th September 1-2pm Legends in Your Lunchtime with Irish Times MD, Maeve Donovan 7th October 1-2pm Leaving Cert Revision Sessions 27th October 9am-5pm

Legends in Your Lunchtime with Barnardos CEO, Fergus Finlay 28th October 1-2pm

Legends in Your Lunchtime with Daft Media CEO, Eamonn Fallon 7th November 1-2pm Undergraduate Open Day 18th November 10am-4pm NCI Graduation 19th & 20th Nov RDS

Undergraduate Open Day 15th & 16th January 10am-4pm

…their hard work earned the Fashion Society a coveted award at the ’08 Clubs and Socs Ball.


New Faces on the Foundation Board


National College of Ireland


ccess | Success | Citizenship is a college-wide campaign that will raise €25 million over the next ten years for scholarships, increased student services and supports and initiatives in corporate responsibility and service learning. “There is no better way to celebrate NCI’s upcoming 60th anniversary in 2011, than by embracing our ‘changing the future’ theme, with a new and ambitious programme of development for the College,” says Tom Barry, chairman of the NCI Foundation. Brian Patterson, former CEO of the Wedgewood Group and former Chair of The Irish Times, is a Director of Praesta Ireland.

Eimear Mulhern has been Chairman of RJ Goff & Co plc since 2008.

“NCI is off to a great start. NCI Foundation Board member Maurice Healy and his wife Adelaide have provided a multi-year pledge of €100,000 to the Foundation alongside State Street Foundation. The depth of support from among our Board members, friends and partners of the College is truly awe inspiring,” says Neal Newman, director of the NCI Foundation. This campaign contains eight carefully prioritised initiatives that will make the College stronger, more accessible and help transform higher education in Ireland. Access Initiative 1: Remove Financial Barriers Ability, not ability to pay, should determine access to higher education in Ireland. NCI Foundation will raise €7,000,000 over the next ten years for scholarships and awards for students. Initiative 2: Progressions A new industry-driven workforce development programme has begun in 2009 with a three-year grant from State Street Foundation and support from industry stakeholders, local employment services and the Institute of Bankers, Irish Funds Industry Association and the Irish Banking Federation. Success Initiative 3: Strengthen Student Support NCI Foundation will raise an additional €7,000,000 over the next ten years to increase student supports and services, enhance the College’s IT infrastructure and upgrade the Norma Smurfit Library. Initiative 4: Build NCI Annual Fund We aim to develop a number of critical improvements for our students and faculty by raising small gifts from our alumni, students and their families and local businesses to expand student clubs and societies, support joint faculty and student research projects and develop new outreach programmes in the Docklands.

Gary Joyce, N C I Alumna, is Co-founder and Managing Director of Genesis.

Citizenship Initiative 5: Shape Regeneration Agenda With an additional €1,500,000 over the next five years, NCI will expand our existing partnerships with regeneration groups in Limerick, Dublin and elsewhere. Initiative 6: Invest in Leadership NCI’s new School of Community Studies continues to lead the way in community-based higher education and leadership development. An additional €1,000,000 over the next seven years will be secured to strengthen a number of exciting courses and outreach programmes. Initiative 7: Amplify Community and Societal Impacts NCI will establish two new entities over the next five years to strengthen the community and voluntary sector, and to support the private sector in its activities in corporate social responsibility.

Cecilia Ronan is HR Director of Citi Ireland, with over 2,200 employees across 5 locations.


Initiative 8: Embed Service Learning The Centre for Service Learning will develop programmes that help students, our corporate partners and local organisations engage together in meaningful projects that improve society. Endowed with a €2,500,000 fund over the next five years, the Centre will consolidate service learning programmes in one new international centre of excellence. To receive a new information pack about Access | Success | Citizenship, contact Sinéad Bheilbigh in the Foundation, 449 8697 or

In profile:

Maurice Healy As a member of the NCI Foundation Board, what attracted you to National College of Ireland? Maurice and Adelaide Healy

M aurice Healy is CEO of The Healy Group and immediate past president of IBEC.

A member of the NCI Foundation Board, Maurice is a strong supporter of social entrepreneurship and the involvement of Irish business in social deprivation issues, especially those geared at education deficits. You have been a great supporter of social entrepreneurship over the years. What motivates you?

I was privileged to meet a group of social entrepreneurs some 7 years ago and discovered the work they were doing and the journey they were on was very rewarding. Since then, I have met even more and they continue to amaze me with their commitment. Do you feel that the business community has an obligation to lead in this area? Yes and over the last four years I have tried to position the business community’s thinking in relation to social entrepreneurship. Business/enterprise must engage in order to support the endeavour through effort, office, people or mentoring, and the rewards are in both directions. What role, if any, has business in education? Business/enterprise is an essential player in education at all levels from preschool to 3rd and 4th levels. The demands of the business community must be understood, and planning for the future of our country needs a vision 20/30 ahead. If business is not engaged, both our levels of employment and the attractiveness for inward investment will be lost. Education must also be at the centre of government policy at all times with attention given to the Arts/Humanities.

National College of Ireland supports their students, giving them a real chance to make a difference to themselves and their families, but also to their communities. If you could make one change to Irish society, what would it be? I would like to make health services equally available to all citizens of the State. This would require the fees from VHI and others to be pooled. Where the individual cannot afford private health insurance, the State pays. Equal cover and equal access for all. What one change would you make to ease our current economic problems? I would have a guarantee scheme, which would allow householders who default through no fault of theirs, protection against repossession of their home. What is the worst decision you ever made? Invested in Irish banks. What is the best decision you ever made? Getting Adelaide to marry me and having four great children.

National College of Ireland supports their students, giving them a real chance to make a difference to themselves and their families

Deryck Tormey has been appointed School


Why Irish Eyes

Should Be Smiling by NCI President Dr. Paul Mooney


CI President Paul Mooney contributed to the Positive Thinking Issue of the Sunday Tribune on March 15th 09:

Ireland has long been referred to as the Island of Saints and Scholars, harking back to the time of St Patrick, when monasteries and schools of the new faith were founded throughout the country. Latterly, critics have argued that we have come a long way from this 'Golden Age': these days, saints and scholars seem to be in pretty short supply. Or are they? I took over as President of the National College of Ireland in February 2007. In my short time at the helm of this remarkable institution, I've seen enough to refute this. I am inspired on a daily basis by individuals I come into contact with, some of whom might baulk at the term but who could be classified as the modern-day equivalent of the saints and scholars of yore. The spirit of selflessness, the concept of 'giving back' and the love of knowledge are all very much alive and well in the Ireland of today. There is a very fitting expression in Irish about the importance of community support: is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine – we exist in each other's shelter. Throughout our history, we have had a tradition of community activism and civic participation, and of working together to effect social change. There is a lot of talk about the black economy; this is the white economy. It is most often unpaid, sometimes unsung, but

always potent.


‘Education played a central role in allowing us to harvest our collective brainpower and move Ireland forward’.

The relocation of National College of Ireland from Ranelagh to its new home in the IFSC under my predecessor Professor Joyce O'Connor is a great example of what can be achieved when people work together towards a common goal. This is a remarkable location, an area that is both steeped in history and brimming with promise for the future. These are difficult times, but consider what has been achieved since we first built the IFSC in the 1980s. Recalling that era of 20% unemployment, when a fifth of our labour force was forced to emigrate and the rest endured double-digit interest rates, reminds us that we still have much to be grateful for. Recessions are a moment in time. Right now is the waiting period before the next boom! Education played a central role in allowing us to harvest our collective brainpower and move Ireland forward. And I truly believe that the same commitment to education, to community and to knowledge will allow us to navigate our way through the current white water. In the 1920s, WB Yeats urged the senate to have 'national faith': "as much wealth can come from the intellect of Ireland as will come from the soil and that the one will repay cultivation as much as the other". By continuing to cultivate our national intellect, we safeguard our future. In the short term we are faced with two key challenges: to concentrate on our own personal development, on learning and acquiring new skills and knowledge, and also on using our existing skills to make a contribution to a wider society. We can. Next time you check the calendar, the recession will nearly be over. Think of today as the 'pre-boom' period, time that you are using to get ready for the next phase. Use this time wisely and enjoy the learning journey. Source: The Sunday Tribune, March 15, 2009

At Your

N ational College of Ireland is preparing for a major initiative: the development of a new

Centre for Service Learning.

Service learning is an experiential teaching and learning strategy, long established in American institutes of higher education, and has been widely adopted in countries including Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, France and the UK, among others. Service learning combines meaningful community service with classroom instruction and structured reflection.


Service learning improves academic achievement: students are practising their skills in a real environment, with the knowledge that their work is making a difference. It creates a connection between them and the wider community, fostering a sense of civic responsibility that cannot be achieved in the classroom alone.

For faculty, service learning can revitalise teaching efforts and add to their research agenda. Long term relationships will be developed and strengthened with community leaders, and there will also be an increased community awareness of College programmes and activities.

Service learning will provide NCI students with a unique opportunity to get involved with their communities in a real and valuable way. The goal is to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen ‘NCI is thoroughly communities.

The community will reap the benefit from the enthusiasm, committed to preparing business acumen and skills that This exciting initiative will our students will bring to the students for lives of underpin and fulfil the mission table. Howe v e r , t h e i m p a c t s o f ethical leadership and of the College, which is: to e m b e d d i n g a service learning civic responsibility’ widen participation in higher programme at NCI reach far beyond education and unlock each this, to the creation of an active student's potential. We offer community of alumni and business students the opportunity to partners who are engaged in their local acquire the skills and self-confidence to communities and committed to the ideals of change their lives, contribute to a knowledge community service and active citizenship. based economy and become responsible, active citizens. Service learning represents a significant Service learning is a powerful educational experience where interests mesh with information, values and beliefs are formed, and action results. It offers a wide variety of benefits to students, faculty and the community. Put simply: it's a win-win situation. NCI students will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom while making a genuine contribution to the community.

2 Minute Interview

1. A common misperception of me is...that I'm a tough guy 'cos I dress in leather and ride a Harley-Davidson. 2. I`m good at...blogging, riding motorcycles, barbecue cooking, and fixing things.

Dr. Eugene O’Loughlin is a lecturer with NCI’s School of Computing. He teaches mainly in the area of learning technologies at postgraduate level; he also teaches project management, programming and business systems analysis at undergraduate level.

breakthrough for NCI. In addition to the academic and technical skills that are offered in the classroom, NCI is thoroughly committed to preparing students for lives of ethical leadership and civic responsibility. Embedding service learning across every academic discipline and programme so that our students obtain a ‘real world’ appreciation of respect, social justice and service to society as core values, will do just that.

3.I`m not-so-good at...keeping my mouth shut when I should know better. 4.The ideal night out is...dinner in a seafood restaurant on a sunshine holiday with my wife Roma, and daughters Claire, Kate, and Vicki.

5.The last book I read was... "Battles for the Three Kingdoms: The Campaigns for England, Scotland and Ireland - 1689-92", by John Barratt. I read mostly history books and biographies 6.The last CD I listened to was… Help! by The Beatles. The one before that was also by The Beatles, and the one before that..!

7.My favourite part of my job is…seeing students I have taught graduate with pride in their studies.

8.It frustrates me when… students don't turn up for class. 9.A phrase I use far too often... I love my iPhone.

10.In a nutshell, my philosophy nice :-)

Eugene’s blog can be found at



Then and Now:

Norma Smurfit Library


Information Service

he library of the National College of Ireland (then known as the National College of Industrial Relations) was established in the Ranelagh campus in 1982. Before that there had been an ad hoc arrangement. Room 5/ 6 (previously a classroom) housed the book stock and a ‘help yourself’ system was in place! We have come a long way since then. Mr. Jim Foran, librarian at the ESB Library Fitzwilliam Square acted as a consultant to the establishment of a small academic library and arranged for the appointment of a professionally qualified librarian and a full time library assistant. A data administrator was hired and the library holdings were transferred to an online catalogue. In April 1987 Mary Buckley (our current librarian) was appointed as library assistant.

In 1998 Emma Fry and Mary Buckley developed the first Library webpages, offering library information an online catalogue and e-info to all students both on and off campus.

Librarian Mary Buckley packs up for the campus move in 2002

In 1996 the College embarked on an off campus (Outreach) programme in approximately 20 sites throughout Ireland. This led to the establishment of mini-libraries with core textbooks, based in each of the centers, supplied by the The new library starts to take shape main library in Sandford Road. This period of self service at a distance proved to be generally unsatisfactory for both students and the library. In a little over 2 years almost 100% of the stock was liberated! Addressing justifiable concerns from off-Campus students the Library changed to a full service to students from the main library. Currently the library offers a postal service to off campus users which includes supplying books and information searches for course and project use. This has proved to be very successful. The number of off campus centres currently stands in the region of 40+.


Norma Smurfit Library In 2000, the College outgrew the premises in Ranelagh. While various options (including redeveloping the original site) were considered, eventually the College decided to move to a custom built campus in D u b l i n ’s I n t e r n a t i o n a l Financial Services Centre.

The new campus included a state-of-the-art library with excellent IT facilities. It also included seminar rooms, a public access information area for students and a room where local community and local business could meet. The huge task of moving a library with a bookstock of 50,000 commenced. Everything was labeled and packed, shelves dismantled and offices relocated.

Some of the current staff of the Norma Smurfit Library L-R Tim Lawless, Joe Dooley, Mary Buckley and Sinead Corcoran

New! Diploma in Marketing, Advertising, PR and Sales Management (ICM)

Pictured at the launch of the new library are (l-r) Celia Larkin, Norma Smurfit and Jackie Lavin.

We finally moved on the 2nd September 2002, with 780 crates to be unpacked and set up for the start of term on September 10th! The mammoth task was completed by the core team of Mary Buckley, Alison Nolan, Jordi Gil Sala and Tim Lawless (a lot of hours were put in that weekend!) As term began on Wednesday 10th September, this meant that the library staff had barely a week to establish a functioning academic library offering a full range of information services to its users. The library was dedicated to Norma Smurfit by Dr. Michael Smurfit, and the official dedication ceremony took place on the 8th April 2003. The event was preceded by a lecture given by Dr. Smurfit. Mary Buckley, librarian, and Alison Nolan, assistant librarian presented Norma and Michael with lifelong access to the library. The Norma Smurfit Library has 240+ reading spaces, study rooms, 30+ computer terminals for student use, photocopying and printing facilities, access to a myriad of online resources and 6 day week opening hours ( increasing to 7 day service on the 4 weeks running up to both semester examination periods). When Alison Nolan left the library in 2006 after 10 years service, Tim Lawless took on the role of assistant librarian. Gerard Farrell and Joe Dooley have since joined the team. The library has holdings of over 100,000 books and reports organised by the Dewey Decimal Classification System, and subscribes to over 250+ paper periodical titles and over 30,000 online journal titles. A fully integrated library management system (Horizon) is also in operation. The current opening hours are 8.30am-9pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am-5.00pm on a Friday and 9.00am-5pm on a Saturday. We are also open on the last 5 Sundays 10am-5pm on the run up to the exams in both semesters. In the last year we loaned in the region of 90,000 items, a huge change since those early beginnings in 1982! When I am asked what qualities make the Norma Smurfit Library unique, I believe it is that we offer the same level of s e r v i c e t o a l l our students, full-ti me, part-ti me, on-campus and off-campus. Hopefully we do so in a friendly manner! That is one thing that hasn’t changed since 1982. Mary Buckley, Librarian

In September, NCI will introduce a new Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) Diploma in Marketing Advertising, PR and Sales Management. The course will run for two evenings a week over a 26 week period. A more intensive 13 week programme will also commence in January 2010. This programme is ideal for anyone who is interested in the exciting and dynamic area of marketing and communications. Students will gain valuable insights and knowledge of key marketing skills and will learn how to create their own advertising and PR materials. The course uses an interesting mix of contemporary case studies and projects and is uniquely designed to suit an Irish context. Michael Bane, Programme Director, said: “The new MAPR Diploma is ideal for anyone with a keen interest in marketing or contemplating working within a marketing or sales related role – you’ll learn practical and transferable skills such as developing your own marketing campaigns, how to approach market research, as well as advertising and PR initiatives.” To apply online or for f u r t h e r information, visit or come along to one of our open evenings (all events are listed on page 11).

Inside NCI May 09  
Inside NCI May 09  

Second edition of the magazine for Friends of the National College of Ireland