Last year Killian O’Flaherty was nominated for craftsperson of the year in the under 30s category in the SPAB Heritage Awards (Society for Protection of Ancient Buildings).
Last November, he was invited to London to attend the Awards ceremony in Soho, London. Killian was the first ever Irish Nominee to be put forward for nomination in a competition of applicants from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and made it to the top four. Since then, Killian has set-up his own Masonry Conservation company (www.oflahertystone.com) and taken his sister Petra on as my Apprentice. Killian was determined to modernise the business while maintaining family and industry traditions. A driving factor behind O’Flaherty Stone success today is Petra. Including women in a male dominated industry is one of the many ways O’Flaherty Stone is transforming and revolutionising the industry.
Petra is the first registered Female Stonemason Apprentice in Ireland in over 30 years. Both come from the Granite stonemasons village of Balyknockan, with family connections in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford and are both 8th Generation stonemasons. Ballyknockan is often referred to as “The Granite Village” or “The Skeleton of Dublin”.
The Stonemasons Apprenticeship is a 5 year course that was re-launched in 2014.