Dalradian is offering employment to the local community

I grew up in Garvagh and have a wife and son here, but I’ve spent most of my life working away from Tyrone. I worked all over the place, in England, Dublin, Australia to name but a few. I’m a shotcreeter by trade, but it’s always been difficult to get work in west Tyrone, at least to get good work. In 2011 when the recession was at its worst it was very difficult to make a living. I was in my 40’s but I took the decision to go to Australia to work. It was a hard move and it meant flying home every month to see my family. In Australia I worked for a month and got a week off, so I’d use that time to fly back home. In December 2015, I was home for Christmas and approached Dalradian for a job and they said yes. The difference to my life has been night and day. I’m now able to live at home and spend time with my family while working in a job that I love. My career with Dalradian has been great and really interesting.

I started as a core saw operator, which meant cutting the core that had been extracted from the site so that it could be examined to determine the levels of minerals and gold in it. But Dalradian as a company are keen to provide new skills and currently I’m working as a Geological Technician. That means I examine the core to determine where the gold veins lie in order to help the geologists map out the gold veins in the mine. Among other things we use spectrometers to determine the different minerals within the extracted core and measure the mineral density. This work is carried out at the core-shed in Omagh and about 20 people are employed there. Like me they come from different working backgrounds but the skills that they used in past jobs like bricklaying or joinery are easily transferable to Dalradian’s project.

It’s also very exciting to be involved in a project that could have a major impact on Tyrone in terms of providing jobs and essentially helping secure the future of the communities here, by helping them prosper and ensuring young people don’t have to move away to find work. The work is also varied, so I can also be up at the exploration site at Curraghinalt driving a teleporter or digger, working on the surface or underground, so each week is different. As a company Dalradian is terrific to work for. They do everything to the highest standards. Everything is well planned and nothing is left to chance and that is reflected in how they treat their employees and their suppliers. I work an eight day shift, that means working Monday to Monday inclusive from 7 am until 6pm but then I get 6 days off, which is great because like a lot of people in west Tyrone I’m a part-time farmer and it means I have time to tend to the cattle and the farm. Overall though the thing I like most about my job is that I’m helping to build something for the future generations of west Tyrone. If Dalradian get planning permission it will create 350 full-time well paid jobs. That would be amazing for the area and it will mean that young people won’t have to leave their families and communities to find good work, like I had to.



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