Peter McVerry Heads Up Volunteer Fair at Institute of Technology Carlow


Institute of Technology Carlow set its annual Volunteer Fair in motion yesterday with a keynote address by Peter McVerry, the civic leader dedicated to helping the homeless youth through his organisation, The Peter McVerry Trust.

Introduced by the president of the Institute, Dr. Patricia Mulcahy, Peter McVerry spoke to a packed theatre of students and staff about his work with the homeless and the value of volunteering. “The satisfaction of seeing a homeless person when we give them a key to one of our apartments makes the work worthwhile”, he commented.

He was presented with a donation from the Students Union by its president, Lorna Fitzpatrick, a donation from the TUI by Claus Derenda, and a donation from the Institute by Dr. Mulcahy.

In her address to the students, Dr Mulcahy described the importance of volunteering in the college. “We highly value those who give their time to volunteer in the college. Institute of Technology Carlow is extremely proud of the level of volunteering that takes place throughout the year. It is important on both a local and national level”, she commented.

24 local, national and international voluntary organisations were represented at the Volunteer Fair. Organisations such as the Irish Wheelchair Association and Gaisce were welcomed to the college to showcase the work they undertake and provide information surrounding their organisations. In his opening address, Peter McVerry said, ‘There is a volunteer role for everyone in the audience’ and, throughout the day, students and faculty members alike had the opportunity to visit individual stands and sign up as volunteers. 

During her address, Dr. Mulcahy spoke about the Institute’s High Performance Entry Scheme which makes active citizenship part of the college’s application process. It is the only programme of its kind in Ireland which specifically rewards aspiring third-level students for exceptional citizenship. Dr. Mulcahy also highlighted the President’s Volunteer Award, which was established in association with UNUM and Carlow Volunteer Centre to awards students for their efforts in volunteering. This year, more than 40 students was receive the President’s Volunteer Ward.

Pictured - Peter McVerry (second from right) was presented with three separate donations at yesterday’s Volunteer Fair. From left: TUI representative Claus Derenda, SU President Lorna Fitzpatrick and Institute President Dr. Patricia Mulcahy.