Staff Spotlight: Fran Duffy

Program Leader


Outdoors Instructor and Trainer with a keen interest in volunteering.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean!
During the summer myself and my family enjoy traveling around Ireland on short camping trips. We always try to visit and experience new places. In 2020 we visited a campsite in Donegal near Downings. We didn't know what to expect but when we arrived we thought it was beautiful! Set on a hillside overlooking an amazing sandy beach with rolling hills across the bay. I ran straight down and jumped into the clear blue ocean. It was amazing!!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have met some really interesting people who have come on our gap programs and I feel I learn a lot from them as they go on their Gap Journey. I have learned to support the students while still allowing them space to develop their own independence and sometimes this can challenging as every individual is different.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I spoke to one of our return students who took part in our Adventure and Leadership Program and came back the next year to do the Irish Arts and Culture Program. They were very inspired by their experience and wanted to become an adventure photographer which combined learning from both programs. it was lovely to see a young person gaining confidence and inspiration from what we do at Irish Gap Year.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would choose Adventure and Leadership because I really enjoy the outdoors and always want to have new and exciting experiences. I think the Leadership element is especially beneficial to our students and had I had the opportunity to take part in such a program when i was younger I feel i would have grown in confidence at a young age.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Irish Gap Year is a unique company because we offer two very different programs. I feel the Irish Arts and Culture Program in particular is a great course to take part in as the students get the best of both worlds by traveling and exploring Ireland and also develop their creativity with the many different workshops.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I feel that teamwork and strong communication is the most important element of a successful company. If you trust and respect each other as colleagues then you will have success. Lastly, an important element of success is pre-planning and organizing, this way everyone has a clear idea of what is expected of them.