Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Elaine McGarrigle from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:


Elaine McGarrigle

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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  Elaine McGarrigle

The most important skill that a person in my position can have is communication.

One needs to be able to communicate effectively with people of all levels in order to do a days work. I think that this is the most important quality, to be able to fit in well with people, everyone from the operators to the senior management, one needs to be able to read them and how best to communicate with them.

An interest in basic engineering and in the heavy machine industry.

It is important to realise that working as a mechanical engineer in Irish Cement does not generally involve sitting at your desk all day. It involves alot of hands on, on-site work so a person needs to be prepared to get their hands dirty.

Another quality that is important is to be willing to learn. Even after a number of years in college, one needs to be eager to learn the ins and outs of a new environment; how cement is made, what equipment is involved, what generally goes wrong and how it is fixed.

Everyone will help and teach you but you need to open your mind and be prepared to take it all in.


The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with clever technology. They will often follow the latest developments in their chosen field, and prefer mentally stimulating environments.
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Key Dates for CAO 2015

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Key Dates for CAO 2015

Thursday, January 08, 2015 

Key Dates for CAO 2015

It's a busy time of year for Leaving Cert students with decisions to make on going to college, what to study, where to study, along with keeping track of all the associated deadlines. Here's a summary of the main dates. A detailed timetable is available to download through the link at the end.

First step - register your intention to seek a CAO college place immediately. All the CAO needs at this stage is your personal details - name, address, phone numbers, disability/specific learning difficulty, country of birth, nationality, email address, payment details, and any post-second level (PLC) educational or other qualifications you have.

You’ll get your individual CAO identification number once you have done this piece.

Next step is to pin down the courses you wish to be considered for next September and enter them on your CAO application. Remember, you are free to return to your CAO application during  all of May/June of 2015, to list or change the course choices you make.

Note:  You need to apply for any course listed as “restricted” in the CAO handbook by February 1st. All other courses can be added or removed from your application list up to the final change of mind deadline on July 1st.

Students interested in a UCAS place in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or England should submit an application to by Thursday, January 15th.

Between February 5th and March 1st - CAO applicants may change a course choice (fee of €10 applies).

Mature students, or restricted application course applicants, or to add a course you have not yet listed, and to correct or amend your CAO application, and to report any errors to the CAO by March 1st (fee €10).

In most other cases, you may use the change of mind facility between May 5th and July 1st to make any changes, at no financial charge.

Before end of May - applicants receive a statement of application record from CAO - this is a final acknowledgment to verify all information has been recorded accurately. Contact the CAO immediately if it does not arrive by June 1st.

Accompanying this statement will be a change-of-mind form, which you can use up to the closing date - 5.15pm on July 1st, 2015. You may make as many changes as you wish online or on paper.

A full list of Key Dates for 2015 is available here