Portarlington student Kaitlyn Weldon wins prestigious college scholarship

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

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lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Portarlington student Kaitlyn Weldon wins prestigious college scholarship

Kaitlin Weldon and Coláiste Iosagáin principal Seamus Bennett, sponsor JP McManus, and Minister of State Mary Mitchell O'Connor

A Portarlington student who achieved top marks in her 2017 Leaving Certificate in Coláiste Iosagáin Portarlington in Offaly, has won a prestigious scholarship on the back of it.

Kaitlyn Weldon who is now attending the University of Limerick, recently collected her JP McManus All Ireland Scholarship Award, with Coláiste Iosagáin principal Seamus Bennett.

She is one of 125 award winners this year, who were commended by President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins at the awards ceremony on Saturday November 25 at the University of Limerick.

Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD and the Permanent Secretary at the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland, Andrew McCormick presented the students from the
North and South with their third-level scholarship awards. 

Sponsored by JP McManus, the educational scheme is set to provide financial assistance to many high achieving students who completed their Leaving Certificate/A Level examinations in 2017. The students will receive €6,750 per annum (stg£5,500) for each year of their chosen undergraduate programmes. 

The winners scored an impressive tally this year, with 33 out of the 100 Republic of Ireland scholarship winners scoring over 600 points, including 11 who achieved a maximum of 625 points in their leaving certificate.

Congratulating this year’s recipients, Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said; “I feel so privileged to be here today and meet with all these incredible students who have worked so hard to achieve their goals and dreams. You each have a bright and exciting future ahead of you and I wish you continued success in the future.” 

The sponsor Limerick billionaire JP McManus said it was an honour to welcome President Higgins to the awards ceremony, and congratulated the 125 recipients. 

“Your hard work and that of your teachers has paid off and my hope for you is that this award will help to progress you to the career of your choice and to further achievement and fulfilment," he said. 

The awards scheme is now celebrating 10 years since its inception with an additional injection of €32
million added to the Fund by JP McManus earlier this year, bringing the total to €64 million. To date, 1,246 students have been awarded a scholarship, with 656 having graduated from third level education.

The programme is administered by the Department of Education & Skills and the Department for the Economy with support from the Department of Education, Northern Ireland.

To mark the 10 year anniversary, JP McManus launched the initiative of an All Ireland Scholarships Alumni Association to acknowledge and follow the progress of winners who have since graduated from 3rd level education, and to provide a self-managed platform for members to network and engage amongst themselves.