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Science & Technology Festival

13th - 20th Nov 2022

A Real reinvention: Science made it all make sense

Date: 15-11-2022

To celebrate Science Week, Irish Water is holding a number of events nationwide to explore the infinite possibilities of science in our everyday lives, inspiring new opportunities and providing potential solutions to challenges such as climate change and the energy crisis.  

Science Week 2022 is focused on the theme of Infinite Possibilities and Pat Real is the epitome of reinvention. His passion for environmental science has brought him on a career adventure. You can read his story below and see other stories on

A Real reinvention: Science made it all make sense  

Pat Real can recall texting his mates telling them ‘you’ll never believe what I bought today… a pencil case in the Clare colours’. 

Nothing unusual for a Clare student wanting to support his county team you might say but Pat was 37 years of age and going back to college to study Environmental Science. 

He’s adamant it was the best decision he ever made and today as a vital member of Irish Water’s northwest team he’s the epitome of reinvention. Foxford has become his adopted home and when he’s not working with water, he’s standing on the waterside with fishing rod in hand. 

As a keen angler and environmental advocate, it’s fitting that Pat’s work focuses on the wastewater side of Irish Water’s business. As a Process Optimisation Lead his role focuses on the best ways to treat wastewater while keeping the waterways of Ireland free from pollution. 

From agricultural college he went to Letterkenny for a course in fish farming which in turn led onto a qualification in aquatic science, a novel course in 1980s Galway. 

He applied for an education allowance and went back to college in Sligo Institute of Technology in search of a degree in Environmental Science. His experience and previous qualifications allowed him to enter the course in year three of four. 

His age only proved to be an encouragement and he won top student two years running. When EPS, a Ballyhaunis based company offering solution to the water industry,  contacted the college looking for potential employees, Pat was recommended. He enjoyed 10 happy years with the company working on water plants across the country. 

“The moral of my story is that it’s never too late. Never give up on yourself. If you’re focused and believe in something and you work at it, then you can achieve it. When I came out of college, I was 39 but I will be working until I’m 66 so that gave me 27 years of work."



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