Michael Callan is the first male student and only man on a college course teaching Home Economics in Dublin.
Equal rights and opportunities for everybody at St Catherine's College of Education for Home Economics where Michael Callan from Athy is the only male student.
He studied Home Economics for the Intermediate Certificate in Athy VEC (Vocational Education Committee), but was the only boy to take the subject in the Leaving Certificate. He knew however from second year in school what he wanted to do,
I decided that I wanted to come here.
Currently working on a jacket in the dressmaking class, his main project next year will be to design and and make an evening dress. While his personal preference would be to make a suit for himself, this will not be possible as,
It’s not allowed by the college authorities.
Principal of Saint Catherine’s College Sister Helen McGing says that gender is not an issue regarding prospective students. Anyone who qualifies for the course and who has passed the entrance examination will be accepted,
There has to be equal rights, equal opportunities for everybody.
Michael Callan's friends have long accepted his unconventional career choice, and many would envy him, as he is the only male among one hundred and fifty women.
Fellow student Nuala Donovan hopes that more boys will follow Michael’s example and study it in school and at third level. Maireád Ní Mhuirí admits she was shocked to see him at the interview but,
We’ve all come to accept it now.
Michael Callan hopes that other young men will follow in his footsteps, as in the current economic climate, he feels that there’s an even bigger need for men to learn how to contribute in the home.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 29 January 1985. The reporter is Maggie O’Kane.