Sale of Ard Ri Hotel, Waterford City


Sherry FitzGerald John Rohan is delighted to confirm the completion of the successful sale of The Ard Ri Hotel in Waterford City.


The iconic building which dominates the skyline immediately north of the River Suir had been closed for a number of years and fallen into significant disrepair. In its earlier days the hotel had operated as one of the most successful in the city offering a wedding venue, conference centre, holiday accommodation and a leisure centre. Situated on an elevated site of approximately 21 acres The Ard Ri Hotel offers magnificent views over the River Suir and the city of Waterford, together with generous parking and large gardens.


While the premises is in need of a complete refurbishment, the property offers enormous potential in many ways to the new owner Seamus Walsh who intends to invest heavily in this project, which in due course will emerge as a re-modelled hotel. Seamus is no stranger to Waterford, having purchased Waterford Castle Hotel in 2015 and turned it into another outstanding achievement.  We wish him good fortune with his new venture.


The new owner Seamus Walsh states, “It is fortuitous that my purchase of The Ard Ri Hotel coincided with the recent good news regarding the Saudi company Fawaz Alhokair Group’s intended purchase of the development site on the North Quays. I see huge opportunity for development in this area and look forward to transforming my new hotel to its former days of glory in these more modern times.”

Statement by Professor Willie Donnelly, WIT on launch of THEA


Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) is proud to be a founding member of the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA), which was launched formally today (Monday April 3rd) by the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Richard Bruton TD.


The launch of the THEA marks a significant step in Irish higher education and affords WIT the opportunity to reflect on our distinct contribution, together with the other thirteen institutes of technology, to Irish society. Over recent decades Ireland has consciously fostered a diverse higher education landscape in which the institutes of technology have played a seminal role.


The fourteen member institutes within the Technological Higher Education Association are themselves diverse but they share much in common including the role of providing apprenticeship training in higher education; integration of entrepreneurship and work experience; optimum expressions of regional support; the digitalisation agenda; and a strong focus on work-based learning.  


We can celebrate the particularly successful role that we have played in widening access to higher education and the manner in which we have largely removed geographical location as an access barrier, contributing considerably to greater social equality and cohesion. 


The keynote address at today’s inaugural conference by Dr Charles Larkin of Trinity College clearly demonstrates that institutes of technology are an essential part of the economies of regional Ireland and that each job at WIT generates an additional 7.48 jobs in the local economy.


Today’s conference was also reminded that the third level technological sector is in the midst of a funding crisis that must be addressed. The sector has seen a decrease in the state grant of 35%, a drop in core staffing levels of 12%, a virtual halt to capital investment and an increase in student numbers of 30% between 2008 -2015. The sector has relied on increased productivity from its talented staff at a rate that is not sustainable in the longer term. 


We welcome today’s discussion on income contingent loans and strongly support the view that funding solutions should not limit student access.  


Facilitating access to higher education on the part of a larger proportion of our society is the single greatest achievement of the technological sector and we have expanded countless individual’s horizons while also enhancing the welfare and quality of life for our society as a whole.alt

Go purple for Waterford!


Purple Flag Hoot 1


Waterford’s gold standard Purple Flag accreditation is due for renewal and to that end an overnight Assessment of Waterford will take place on Saturday the 1st April. Two assessors from the Association of Town & City Management will be in Waterford to monitor standards within the Purple Flag zone.


According to Waterford Purple Flag Co-ordinator Nick Donnelly, “It is vital that Waterford retains its Purple Flag accreditation - we are confident that our offering is strong enough to deliver re-accreditation. What is also important is that all staff working in the Purple Flagzone are briefed on the importance of this accreditation and that we get the message across to the Assessors that the Purple Flag zone in Waterford is vibrant, safe and well managed.”


The Group are asking businesses to participatein whatever way possible over that weekend by decorating your windows in purple, use any purple up-lighting if available and ask your staff to dress in purple uniform if possible.


“The importance of everyone playing their part over the weekend cannot be underestimated. We have drafted the itinerary for the Assessors tour of the Purple Flag zone which will commence in the Mayors Parlour at 3.15 pm on the Saturday afternoon. You are welcome to attend the Mayors Parlour, City Hall to show your support of Purple Flag in Waterford”, Mr. Donnelly concluded.


Purple  Flag  is  an  international  accreditation  programme for  town  and  city centres in  the early  evening and night time economy. It is the “gold standard” for night time destinations.  Like  Blue  Flag  for  beaches,  places  that  meet  the standards  can  fly  the  flag. Purple Flag accredited towns and cities have proven that they are welcoming to everyone, offer safe ways for visitors to travel home after dark and provide a good mix of venues. Purple Flag towns and cities benefit from more visitors, lower crime and anti-social behaviour and improved perceptions of centres.

Waterford City Local Employment Service website launch


WCLES website launch 1


Do you need an extra pair of hands but worry about the business costs?


We invite you to join us for the official launch of our website on Thur 20th April. Learn about our new services to employers including free job advertising, putting forward candidates and advice on the €10K JobsPlus grant.


We will be letting you know how we can help you, we will have a case study from Dessert First, who have accessed the JobsPlus grant and we will show you how easy it is to use our free job advertising services.



8.00-8.45 Registration, Networking and Breakfast

8.45 Welcome address – Joe Stokes

8.50 Official Launch – Cllr Adam Wyse, Mayor of Waterford City and County

9.00 Margaret Fleming, Dessert First - Case study how JobsPlus can help your business

9.10 DSP Liam Murphy – how to access JobsPlus

9.20 Mags O Connor WCLES - Website demo

9.30 CLOSE


Register here:

'Reflection' Concert at The Sacred Heart Church


Reflection Sacred Heart Concert

‘Lazygirl’ from Tramore reaches National Student Enterprise Final


005 LEO 210317


Lazygirl is a product and business created by Ardscoil Na Mara student, Caitlin Roche who last Tuesday won the Waterford Student Enterprise Award. It is a fake tan remover that works in just five minutes. It doesn’t exfoliate or damage the human skin as it is a cream and not a scrub.


The Waterford Student Enterprise Programme started in September with 1,000 students from 15 schools in Waterford City and County. They created their businesses, developed, branded, promoted and sold. But most importantly they learned what it felt like to run their own business.


Finally, 137 students represented 13 schools in Waterford county and competed in the Waterford Student Enterprise Final on Tuesday March 21st at the W.I.T. Arena in Carriganore. 43 businesses in total, shortlisted from a total of 350 who commenced the competition in September, presented their business plans and challenged for the top prize in the Waterford Student Enterprise Programme.


Caitlin’s business product, Lazygirl, will represent Waterford at the National Finals on May 3rd in Croke Park taking on 34 other businesses, the best of the rest of the country.


Co-ordinated by the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, the competition is the most successful programme of its kind in the country. 25,000 budding entrepreneurs from 380 secondary schools across the country have been running their own enterprises, with help from their teachers and Local Enterprise Offices. Finalists from all over the country will set-up enterprise exhibition displays before taking part in a series of judging interviews. The judging panels take numerous factors into account, such as business reporting, innovation, market research, risk management and finances.


Praising the teachers and local schools involved in the programme, Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office Waterford, said: “The Student Enterprise Programme encourages and enables students to take on the world of business and develop an entrepreneurial mind-set. By fostering an enterprising culture in the classroom, the Local Enterprise Offices are working with teachers and schools to help nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs.”


The three main categories for the Student Enterprise Awards programme includes senior, intermediate and junior levels, which all comprise of first, second and third place winners, alongside awards for best innovation, display and social media.


Further information about May’s National Finals is available through, which also has free resources and video tutorials for students and teachers for the 2016/2017 programme. For more information, please contact your Local Enterprise Office at 35 the Mall in Waterford City or Civic Offices in Dungarvan. Alternatively, you can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Train like a Pro for the Viking Marathon


Viking Marathon


Waterford Institute of Technology will partner with WLRfm Waterford Viking Marathon again this year to sponsor the much sought after goody bag for the event which takes place on Saturday June 24th.


To celebrate the ongoing partnership, the Institute is offering lactate & VO2max performance profiles to one beginner, intermediate and advanced runner during their training for the Waterford Viking Marathon.


Performance physiologist Bruce Wardrop will be performing the tests. “Normally this work would be reserved for elite athletes and their coaches. However, we are thrilled to offer this test package to the three lucky prize winners.


“Each runner will attend the Human Performance Lab to be put through their paces, after which we will be able to provide detailed feedback on the type of training they should do during their preparation for the Waterford Viking Marathon. We will repeat the tests at the end of their race prep to see how much improvement they have made. Our expert staff in the Department of Health, Sport & Exercise Science have also put together a series of free training articles which should be of benefit to all runners. You can check them out at” 


To be in with a chance to win this amazing prize, visit and answer two short questions before Friday, 31 March 2017.


WIT is fully supportive of this year’s event and many staff and students are training to take part in the Full, Half, Quarter and Relay marathon and sports staff are providing expert training advice and information for runners in the lead up to the event through the WIT website, the department’s blog and social media pages. To read some of our sports staff’s preparation advice or find out about upcoming events, visit


For further information and route map on WVM 2016 see

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