Skibbereen boys win top prize at traveller enterprise awards

June 20th, 2016 10:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Keith McCarthy, John O'Driscoll and Wayne Williamson with their ward and one of their barrel-top wagons. (Missing from photo: Gary Fahy).

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FOUR young boys from Skibbereen are the toast of the town after they won a Traveller Pride Award for Enterprise recently in Dublin.

The budding entrepreneurs – Wayne Williamson, John O’Driscoll, Keith McCarthy and Gary Fahy – picked up the coveted award for their flat pack miniature barrel-top wagons, which they designed and produced at the Skibbereen Community and Family Resource Centre. Under the guidance of tutor Peter Dunican and with the help of Susan O’Regan and Kathy Crockett, the four boys were very enthusiastic about the project.

‘We are so proud of the lads for embracing the project and they were thrilled to have won the enterprise award as well as being interviewed on RTÉ News as well,’ said Susan, who works as a Support & Development Office at the centre.

They started out making window boxes and bug hotels but then decided to make miniature barrel-top wagons after some detailed research. They proved to be a huge hit with customers who bought them.

‘We really enjoyed making the barrel-top wagons and it was great to win an award. We sold the wagons for €30 or two for €50, and we sold out of them,’ said John O’Driscoll.

‘We let the boys lead the project and the success of it was due to listening to what they wanted to do. We knew the lads were special as they kept coming in every week after school and it was a pleasure to work with them,’ said their tutor Peter Dunican.

At last December’s Bank of Ireland Enterprise Expo in Skibbereen, the four boys, who are part of Skibbereen Boys’ Action Group, sold out their flat pack barrel-top wagons at the event, much to the delight of everyone involved.

‘They had to come up with their own design for the barrel-top wagons and not to make it complicated for people to assemble it once they had purchased it,’ said Peter. 

‘They also designed the labels, instructions and packaging, and we were very impressed with their drive and attitude.’

Funding for this enterprising project came from both Skibbereen Family Resource Centre and the West Cork Traveller Centre in Clonakilty.

‘This project allowed them to shine in their own creative ways and if anyone would like to sponsor them to see their potential, it would be great,’ added Kathy Crockett.

‘We also want to thank Bank of Ireland for sponsoring the suits the boys wore at the Traveller Pride Awards. They did Skibbereen proud,’ she said.

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