"Portobello had the high standards to help me achieve what I hoped for"

London Met's partner school, the Portobello Institute celebrates graduation.

Date: 3 August 2022

The Portobello Institute, one of London Met’s affiliate schools, held a graduation ceremony at Dublin’s famous Croke Park. 

The ceremony celebrated not only this year’s graduates, but also students who missed their graduation due to Covid-19. Kevin Culham, who graduated with an MSc in Facilities Management, spoke about the effects the pandemic had on his studies: “I saw how important the role of facilities and workplace management is, especially with Covid and the need for high standards. Taking on a course like this gave me the knowledge that I would need to create a better outcome for the workplace.”

Delia  Lyons founded  Portobello Institute in 1981 as The Portobello School of Childcare. It was the first childcare training school in Ireland and one of a small handful of private providers of further education at the time. Delia aimed to make education accessible for everyone who wanted to develop further in their careers.  Since then,  Portobello  Institute has expanded beyond the Early Years department with an additional five departments-Sports,  Facilities Management, Special Needs Assisting, Business of Fashion, and Travel and Tourism.

Sean Moriarty, who earned his BSc in Sports Therapy, recognised the importance of the opportunities the Portobello Institute provides. “I knew studying sports therapy would be a good route into getting a masters. That’s why I went down the Portobello route. It gave me that springboard to go over to physio in Scotland.”

It was a proud day at Croke Park stadium for all the graduates, and in particular for Paul Tallon, who graduated with a BSc in Facilities Management: “It’s definitely a bucket list moment for me. One for the family as well. I've been in facilities all my life. I’m an electrician by trade. I've been working in the facilities industry for a long time now, over 15 years. To have any shot at further job opportunities you need to have the academic side of things.”

The importance of creating skills-based learning, and the strong focus on post-graduate careers also served Portobello students well. Derek McDonald, who also earned a BSc in Facilities Management has already started to use the skills he learnt at the Institute. “I’m a European Facilities Manager for Kellogg’s, so I look after all their offices across Europe. All the work that we did in the degree in terms of strategy, in terms of leadership, that’s all coming to the fore now. I’m constantly reading my notes back now, it has been very useful. I absolutely love the role that I’m doing.”


Graduate class from Portobello Institute tossing their mortarboards in the air