Kerry ETB Graduate Wins Two Global Awards In London

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Dan Kearney award

Dan Kearney from Castleisland won two major awards at the weekend.

A KERRY ETB Training Centre graduate received two prestigious global awards in London for his work and achievement during his training course in Radio.

Dan Kearney from Castleisland received a City and Guilds Global Gold Medal of Excellence in London against global competition for his outstanding work during his training course in radio production techniques at Kerry ETB Training Centre.

He also received the Further Education Learner of the Year Award. This is reserved for learners in the UK and Ireland and he is the overall winner.  Dan is only the second person in Ireland to win this award so it is a rare distinction.

Continued below…

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Dan Kearney took on the challenge of a course in Radio Production in October 2014 after spending 20 years working in menswear. Last Thursday, Dan travelled to London to receive his Gold Medal of Excellence awarded by City and Guilds for his outstanding work during his training course in Tralee ETB Training Centre.

The course, ‘Media Techniques – Radio’ is part of the range of Digital Media production courses run by Kerry ETB Training Centre in Tralee. The course has been delivered by Radio Kerry  since it began with an experienced Radio Kerry Producer and broadcaster as instructor. It is certified by City and Guilds level Three.

This course was Dan Kearney’s first experience of the world of media and his interest in  radio was soon transformed into creative radio projects. His fresh ambitious approach to radio was evident to course instructor, Radio Kerry’s John Herlihy, from an early stage when Dan pitched an idea for a documentary as part of a class assignment.

Left to right: Louise Minchin (BBC Breakfast), Dan Kearney (FE Learner of the Year), Kirstie Donnelly MBE (Managing Director City & Guilds UK), Shane O’Connor (Radio Kerry Training).

Louise Minchin (BBC Breakfast), Dan Kearney (FE Learner of the Year), Kirstie Donnelly MBE (Managing Director City & Guilds UK), Shane O’Connor (Radio Kerry Training).

John convinced Dan to go further with his proposal. He pitched the idea to RTE Radio 1’s Doc on One team and it was accepted for broadcast immediately.

The documentary was called ‘Once Were Champions’ and it was a look back at the Castleisland Desmonds side that won the All-Ireland Senior Football final in 1985.  As Dan Kearney explained this was a great story waiting to be told; “For much of my life I have listened to stories and recollections from the great local heroes of  football who brought honour to Castleisland in the mid-Eighties, Their achievement was mighty and I wanted to capture the spirit that drove them to success against all the odds”.

Dan undertook the challenge of making the documentary side by side with all his course work which was no easy feat as course instructor John Herlihy explained, “ By the end of his time on the course Dan had passed his Assignments with flying colours and was awarded a distinction. He also finished his documentary which was broadcast on RTE Radio 1 and is one of the most listened to documentaries on the RTE website. It was also broadcast on Radio Kerry”.

In March of this year Dan received the amazing news that City & Guilds were awarding him a Global City & Guilds Medal of Excellence which recognises the outstanding performance of students in their chosen field. This is a huge achievement as out of the 2 million plus students City & Guilds train worldwide less than 100 of these medals are awarded.

A further surprise announcement came during the award ceremony in London when Dan received the Further Education Learner of the Year Award.

Speaking about the awards Dan Kearney was clearly very pleased; “I know it’s a great recognition to get this award here in London that is so rarely given. I just loved the work from the beginning; it was very satisfying to be involved in the research, the interviewing and the creative approach needed for a radio documentary. It was greatly helped by the professional advice on offer and the top class professional studios that are available at the ETB Training Centre in Tralee”.

Dan is currently working as a sales representative for the school book company in Castleisland but he also does freelance radio production and documentary making as well as sport report writing for local media.

He is married to Ciara and they live in Castleisland with their two 14 year old twin daughters Aisling and Gemma.

Dan is very involved in gaelic football coaching and of course he is a  member of Castleisland Desmonds GAA club the subject of his radio documentary. He is a former PRO of the Kerry Ladies Football.

Owen O’Donnell, manager of Kerry ETB Training Centre said that it was a great and exceptional achievement for Dan Kearney. He added that awards such as this are very important for the training centre. “Dan’s outstanding achievement is a great boost for all of us as this gold medal award is so seldom given out and it brings further recognition for our professional training courses in radio production and digital media”.

An experienced radio producer and broadcaster, Shane O’Connor has now taken over the  running of the course for a year whilst John Herlihy is on a sabbatical.

Shane is a  graduate of the same course at the ETB Training Centre having graduated in 2010. Since then he has worked freelance for a number of stations in Ireland before joining BBC Radio 5 Live as a broadcast journalist. He worked there for just under four years before coming back to take over the course in October of last year.

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