Kilmallock school produces face shields for Covid-19 emergency

Coláiste Iósaef Principal Noel Kelly.

As local company Irema works around the clock on the production of surgical face masks just down the road, Coláiste Iósaef in Kilmallock is also responding to the needs of the Coronavirus emergency by providing personal protective equipment, writes John Barrett. The school, which has donated its stocks of disposable gloves and protective eyewear to frontline workers, is now turning its attention to making face shields.
“We place a significant importance on technology in the school and are fortunate to have two laser printers and two 3D printers,” Coláiste Iósaef Principal Noel Kelly told The Vale Star. “Our techno teachers, Mr Mahon and Mr Nolan, were anxious to use these to support the national effort. We had a look at what we could do and came across two designs that could be used to produce face shields.”
The school went about sourcing materials and set to work making the two designs. “The support of everyone is just so heartening. We reached out to another school in Limerick for one of the designs, and the support and advice we got from them was brilliant. Locally, Abbey Printers gave us the material for the shield visor. Despite the difficulties everyone is facing, there is fantastic support out there and people really want to help if they can at all,” the principal added.
Noel Kelly paid tribute to the two teachers who are abiding by the social distancing guidelines and working in two different locations in the school. “They are fantastic, and to see them give up their Easter break is a sign of real character, “he said.
Mr Kelly, who has been principal at Coláiste Iósaef since 2016, was an engineering teacher in the school prior to that and he has also returned to the engineering room to help out with production. “You can take the teacher out of the engineering room but, at times like this, it’s important to return and play a small part in the battle against Covid-19,” he concluded.