When announced as runner-up of the RTITB Irish National Final back in May of this year, Brendan Meagher, of Portarlington, County Laois, expressed his joy at winning a place in the Grand Final, stating: ‘I’m looking forward to the grand final. I’d like to say I want to win, but I don’t want to jinx it!’
With just a short time to go until the big day, Brendan is preparing himself for the final, although he divulged: ‘I’m feeling more nervous as the days go on, but I’m excited as well. I’m definitely looking forward to it.’ Brendan will join the other 9 grand finalists (including Irish National Final champion, Samuel Millar) all of whom will be required to complete a series of 8 tests in order to win the grand prize of a brand new car and the title of Operator of the Year 2011.
As Brendan’s role at Glanbia PLC does not include the regular operation of forklift trucks, he was honest in stating that as yet, he had not completed any practice for the final, although some form of practise with his trainers, Jungheinrich, is definitely in his future plans: ‘Jungheinrich have offered me an opportunity to go down and practise with their lift trucks, so I will get some preparation completed in the run-up to the final.’ Although he may not possess the same level of knowledge as some of the more experienced operators in the competition, Brendan’s hard work and ability to learn the fundamentals of lift truck operation in quick succession was apparent as he was declared the first runner-up of the Irish National Finals, earning him a well deserved spot as a grand finalist. Regarding his experience as an operator Brendan said: ‘I was unaware of certain aspects of the forklift, but I’m feeling better and more confident for the final. I’m just going to do the best that I can.’
The competition, which was first established in 2008, has been celebrated by those within the industry as a fun and innovative way in which to help set the standards within the material handling industry. Not only has it proven to be a great way in which to celebrate skilled and dedicated operators like Brendan, but it has also been acknowledged as a positive reminder of the importance of correct health and safety procedures.
The Grand Final, to be held at the RTITB Headquarters in Telford, Shropshire on 16th September, is open to the public who, along with a chance to see all 10 grand finalists in action, will have a chance to meet the RTITB and enjoy the selection of entertainment and refreshments on offer throughout the day.