Northern Ireland is a strong quarrying region with a very diverse geology. Craigantlet, in County Down, is blessed with a large deposit of High PSV gritstone and with its proximity to the Docks in Belfast, there is a lucrative supply line to the south of England and beyond.
This month’s member focus is Northstone Materials Pierce Kirwan, Quarry Manager at Craigantlet Quarry, Northern Ireland.
Pierce’s initial plan after university was to take a gap year and earn some extra cash as ‘Quarry Operative’ at Craigantlet Quarry. He soon realised quarrying was where he should stay; he loved the job and the opportunities that were available to advance his own personal development.
With thanks to a string of continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities, as well as working alongside experienced people, Pierce has efficiently progressed in his career; from ‘Quarry Operative’ to ‘Site Foreman’ and ‘Assistant Quarry Manager’, before taking his present role as ‘Quarry Manager’ six months ago.
“It sounds cliché but everyday within my role is different with a new challenge or problem to solve and a wide range of skills needed. I enjoy working with my team to increase our efficiencies and meet our budgets, plus we are constantly trying to move towards optimisation in all our activities on site.
“The wide range of educational training that is made available to members is a huge strength of the industry. Plus the benefits of meeting with like minded individuals and being part of a community should not be underestimated. Learning at technical evenings and from the experience of other members has been very important to my own personal development.”
Northern Ireland Branch
Pierce is a committee member and attends as many branch meetings as possible.
“Obviously the social side of branch meetings is great. The annual ‘Stone Crushers Ball’ is certainly a highlight in my calendar and the money raised year-on-year for a variety of charities is a real testament to members. Field trips and site visits are also a highlight as all quarry professionals love to have a peek at what others are doing on-site.
“Last year’s centenary conference, which I had the privilege to attend, was also excellent. All topics that were discussed and the contribution from all speakers was very positive for the future of the industry and the Institute as a professional body.
“If you want a career that is unique, offers a variety of routes and options and opportunities to to see the world, then look no further!”
How can I get involved?
HSE NI is hosting the Northern Ireland branch meeting on 5th March. The event will deliver a presentation on operators and manager’s duties in relation to changing practice within the industry.
For any members in Northern Ireland looking to get involved with their local branch, or to find out more about the above event, contact:
028 2588 1086 / 07702 632 064 / firstname.lastname@example.org
028 2586 1175 / 07887 514 410 / email@example.com
For more information visit the Northern Ireland tab on the IQ branches page.