WIT's business school offers first joint GPA and WGPA Masters' scholarship scheme


WIT GPA Masters 

Monday 20 April, 2015: The Women’s Gaelic Players Association (WGPA) and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) announced the first graduate business scholarship programme for both male and female county GAA players at a launch event at Waterford Institute of Technology’s Carriganore Sports Campus today.


The School of Business at WIT are providing four scholarships on the Institute’s flagship Master of Business Administration (MBA) or on one of the streams on the Master of Business Studies (MBS), two for GPA members and two for members of the recently formed WGPA


Speaking about the programme, Dr Tom O’Toole, Head of the School of Business said: “High level sports achievement and business are intrinsically linked. The dedication to excellence of the women and men Gaelic players is legendary and we are delighted to announce this initiative to support our national amateur sports people on this unique occasion.”


According to Aoife Lane, “As Chairperson of the WGPA and lecturer in the Department of Health Sport and Exercise Science, I have ample reason to be proud of this collaboration between the GPA, WGPA and WIT. Since the WGPA launch in January, we have been working to build opportunities for our members to support their development off the field, we are firmly behind the player in their efforts to achieve in life and in sport. Third level county players are a particularly important group who are under pressure to progress with their academic studies while managing sporting commitments.


“We recently awarded 12 scholarships to members studying at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and this opportunity through the School of Business in WIT is a welcome addition to our education programme. Third level college GAA clubs are traditionally 'one club' environments with equal opportunities and treatment for males and female players. It is great to see that this ethos is being extended to the roll out of a Masters Programme for county players in WIT that will hopefully be replicated across other third level institutions.”


GPA Chief Executive Dessie Farrell added: “The GPA is committed to supporting the education of our players and we are absolutely delighted that the School of Business at WIT will now provide these life-changing opportunities to a number of GPA members in the South East region. WIT and the GPA share a common goal as development partners for our student players – to support them to be their personal best, through education and enhanced career possibilities. The GPA aims to expand the Masters Programme nationally and we are grateful to WIT for taking the next step in that process by establishing this exciting new programme in Waterford.”


The Executive MBA at Waterford Institute of Technology will help graduates to develop skills and learn concepts that will accelerate their careers and serve them throughout their professional lives.


WIT is signed up to the athlete friendly institution protocol. The Institute has a fantastic support system for players including a scholarship service that is delivered by Ursula Jacob, current Wexford Camogie player and a mentoring service led by Noel Connors, current Waterford hurler, that helps students to manage their various study and playing commitments.

Waterford Institute of Technology's governing body ratifies new President


Prof Will Donnelly President WITTuesday, 21 April 2015: At a meeting today, the governing body of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) ratified Prof Willie Donnelly as the next President of the Institute.


Prof Donnelly was Vice President for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies at WIT as well as Director and founder of the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG), an internationally-renowned mobile services and communications management research centre which has grown from 3 to 130 researchers, winning over €80m in competitive funding.


Prof Donnelly has significantly impacted the creation of a research and innovation ecosystem in Waterford which has resulted in the creation of a mobile services software cluster in the South East. He has directed the development of WIT’s ArcLabs Research & Innovation Centre and is a founding member of a number of spin-out companies, including FeedHenry and ZolkC.


Speaking about the appointment, Mr Dick Langford, WIT Chairman, said that Prof Donnelly has been appointed at an exciting time in the Institute’s history. “As we see the country begin to recover, never before has higher education been more important as a driver to sustain and drive our economic fortunes.


“WIT has been hugely successful over the last 45 years, with 2,500 students graduating each year, the Institute leverages more than €20 million in research funding on an annual basis as well as acting as a catalyst for positive change in the south east and further afield. Prof Donnelly has an indisputable track record in his career in the institute to date and his next challenge, and one that he will meet with gusto, is to build on the Institute’s strengths, and lead WIT to the next level.”

Speaking after his appointment, Prof Donnelly said, “I am delighted to be appointed President of WIT. The institute has a tradition of leadership within the third level sector. From its foundation 45 years ago, WIT has been a catalyst for regional, cultural and economic development, sustained through a culture of collaboration and innovation between the institute and its regional stakeholders.”


“We are now entering an important phase in the evolution of the institute as an internationally recognised leader in the translation of research into economic impact”, Prof Donnelly continues. “The pioneering spirit which characterises the institute is reflected in the growth of its internationally accredited research, an innovation culture which is driving the emergence of the knowledge economy within the south east and a research capacity which impacts directly on our students as we redefine the student experience by complimenting traditional learning with an ethos of entrepreneurship and innovation.”


Prof Donnelly will fill the vacancy occasioned by the secondment of Dr Ruaidhrí Neavyn to the Department of Education and Skills/Higher Education Authority.


For a full biography of Prof Donnelly, visit

Tramore Summer Ball


Tramore Summer Ball

Waterford Country Fair at Mount Congreve Gardens


Waterford Country Fair

Waterford Country Fair shines the spotlight on country life and country living

Inaugural Country Fair destined for Waterford’s Mount Congreve Gardens


On June 14th Mount Congreve Gardens will host the first Waterford Country Fair, a festival celebrating the very best of country life and country living.

The one day event will feature a host of field sports and country pursuits including dressage, side saddle displays and sheep dog trials, along with falconry, beekeeping, artisan craft producers and local food producers.


Jo Breheny, Chair of the Waterford Country Fair is delighted with the reaction to the festival so far. “A few months ago, some friends and I discussed the idea of a festival that showcases the best of country pursuits, but we also wanted to ensure it was a festival that would have a wide appeal to all ages. We formed a dedicated committee, spoke to some local businesses and so far, have received phenomenal support from the business community.”


“The day itself will have something for everyone, not just those with an interest in equestrian and country pursuits. There will be pony club games, sheep dog trials, and dressage. There will be an exciting falconry display as visitors can learn more about these majestic birds, hot-shoeing farrier demonstrations, carriage driving displays, beekeepers will give a fascinating insight into the busy life of bees, traditional artisan crafts such as basket weaving and some of the county’s finest food producers will have stalls at the event.”


The event setting couldn’t be more stunning. Mount Congreve Gardens are regarded as “one of the great gardens of the world.” Situated just outside Kilmeaden in Co. Waterford the gardens consist of seventy acres of planted woodland gardens and a four acre walled garden.


Ray Sinnott, Mount Congreve Estate Manager, is looking forward to hosting the Waterford Country Fair. “The festival and the gardens complement each other very well. The Fair will put the focus on country living and we believe that Mount Congreve Estate is the perfect example of country living at its best. We have wide open spaces to accommodate the myriad of events on the day with plenty of room for country pursuits’ enthusiasts, families and tourists. Visitors will also have the chance to explore the largest collection of plants in Ireland and thousands of trees and shrubs.”


The Waterford Country Fair will also work with the charity CRY, Cardiac Risk in the Young. According to Ms. Breheny, “We chose CRY as our charity partner in order to raise awareness of the crucial work this organization does tirelessly. It raises awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death Syndrome, provides free counselling and support for families affected by sudden cardiac death and supports the Centre for Cardiovascular Risk in Younger Persons. We hope the day will help spread the message about sudden cardiac death syndrome and raise funds for this remarkable charity.”


To find out more about Waterford Country Fair, which takes place at Mount Congreve Gardens on Sunday, June 14th, visit or keep up to date with Facebook and Twitter.

Purple Flag Bank Holiday Weekend


Purple Flag May Bank Holiday


A celebration party for everyone to enjoy is set to take place in Waterford City’s John Robert’s Square on Friday, 1st May.


The ‘Purple Flag Party’ will commence at 5pm and a host of entertainment will be on offer until 8pm. Councillor James Tobin Mayor of Waterford City & County and Councillor Lola O’Sullivan Mayor of the Waterford Metropolitan District will open the party at Broad Street.


Visitors and locals alike can enjoy a host of entertainment including live music from three top local music acts with MC for the night getting the party starter TV Presenter Conor Donelan.


Street performers will be traversing the streets and will entertain with circus performances, juggling, stilt walking and a fire performance. You might even help a ‘wandering minstrel’ on his way during the evening! Purple flag Ambassador Ashley Loftus will also be joining the celebrations.


Commenting on the upcoming event, Waterford Chamber CEO Nick Donnelly said, “We are asking businesses to enter in to the spirit of the weekend from Friday through to Monday by using Purple merchandising and helping to raise the purple flag over the City of Waterford. We also hope that businesses will consider adding to the theme with their own ideas all under the “Purple Flag” theme.”


Earlier this year Waterford was awarded the Purple Flag status becoming the first city in the South East to join the Purple standard. Waterford is now one of over 50 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who have been awarded with Purple Flag status for their achievements in helping people have a great night out and one of 10 Irish locations awarded.



  • 2 night family break in Waterford
  • Family dinner @ Burzza Restaurant
  • Traditional sailing trip on the Brian Boru
  • Adventure exp @ Dunmore Adventure Centre
  • Epic Tour of Viking Triangle
  • Family Dinner @ The Reg Gastro Bar


TO ENTER, go to the Purple Flag Facebook page here:

Something’s brewing at Coffee House Lane!


The Coffee Warehouse revives Waterford’s traditional art of coffee roasting


LEO 310315When you think of some of the great foodstuffs that originated in Waterford you can’t but help think of the blaa, rashers or even cream crackers.  But, one of Waterford’s better kept secrets is coffee, and a Waterford company, is reviving the tradition of coffee roasting.


The Coffee Warehouse is renowned for its Ponticelli brand and has just launched a new coffee brand, Coffee House Lane, in honour of Waterford’s coffee roasting tradition.  Back in the late 17th century, John Aikenhead was the visionary who first brewed and distributed coffee in Ireland, from his coffee house in the aptly named Coffee House Lane. 


Mark Bergin, founder of the Coffee Warehouse, has a long association with coffee, with Ponticelli being the first brand created by the company in 2009.  Then in 2011, Mark invested in a coffee roaster and exclusively roasts at its Kilcohan facility.


“Ours is a labour of love”, said Mark.  “My father has been working with coffee since the 60’s and it was only a matter of time before I got into coffee too.  After we acquired the coffee roaster in 2011 we knew we wanted to pay tribute to the true home of coffee in Ireland, Coffee House Lane.  We have created Blend 1690, which is a medium to dark roast.  The slow roasting of the beans gives a sweetness to the blend, which balances the deep earthiness of a dark roast.”


“Not many people know that Waterford led the way in coffee roasting in Ireland over 300 years ago and I am confident that it is a tradition we can revive on a large scale.”


The venture would not have been the success it has been without local and national support.  “We have had the good fortune to work with support agencies such as Waterford Local Enterprise Office, Love Irish Food and, of course, SuperValu which now stocks our product in 62 stores throughout the country.”


Sourcing the finest coffee beans from around the world, the beans, which are green at this stage are roasted between 180ºC and 230ºC for 14 to 20 minutes. The length of time roasting has an impact on colour, aroma and moisture.  The Coffee House Lane beans are roasted for longer, thus giving them a darker colour and richer roast flavour.  The popularity of the blend is also a reflection of the evolving Irish palate.


Waterford Local Enterprise Office has backed the venture since Day One.  According to Ciaran Cullen, it is a proud Waterford tradition that deserves to be revived.  “When Mark approached us about investing in a roaster we heartily concurred that coffee roasting should be encouraged, promoted and nurtured in its Irish birthplace.”


“The food and beverage landscape in Waterford is one of the most vibrant in the country.  Entrepreneurs and small producers are creating an exciting portfolio of high quality, great tasting local produce and at Waterford LEO we are delighted to be part of a movement that shines the spotlight on Waterford’s taste revolution.”


Keep up to date with Coffee House Lane on Facebook and Twitter.


Alternatively if you have an inspirational food idea and what to know what assistance is available to you, talk to Waterford Local Enterprise Office.  Call 051 849905 or visit

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