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Coláiste Chú Chulainn pair take first ever Bernard Duffy Scholarships in Dundalk IT

Nov 2, 2023

Thomas Sharkey, Principal of Coláiste Chú Chulainn, Brendan English Martin and Sofia Fedane, scholarship recipients, Eileen Lynch, Access Officer DKIT, Ms Nichola Fitzpatrick, Guidance Counsellor

Brendan English Martin and Sofia Fedane are two recent graduates of Coláiste Chú Chulainn, now studying in DKIT. They are two of only three Bernard Duffy scholarship winners, in that award’s first ever year. 

Bernard Duffy was born in Dundalk in the mid 19th Century. He left the area and made his fortune abroad. After his death a legacy was left to support scholars from the immediate Dundalk area (within 5 mile radius of Market Square.)

Eileen Lynch is the Access Officer in DKIT. She managed the updating of the criteria in order to start accessing the funds for current students.

“It is important for us to know that somebody who left Dundalk during famine times is still making a practical impact in the lives of young people, their families, education and the local economy,” said Thomas Sharkey, Principal.

Ms Fitzpatrick, a Guidance Counsellor in the school added: “Financial supports for young people is crucial to their progression in their chosen training and education. These scholarships are worth €3,000 per annum for each of the years of study in DKIT. This means that Brendan and Sofia will have the laptops they need, they will have the suit for interviews and lab coats for pratical work. Of course, they will have the coffee for the late night study sessions.”

Brendan and Sofia both mentioned their transition to higher education:

“It was strange at the start” said Brendan. “I had to settle in to a new timetable and take responsibility for my own attendance. It is also encouraging to be around students and staff from around the world in an excellent campus.

Sofia added 

“We just had to get stuck in to the work. We were taught in Coláiste Chú Chulainn that If You Are Not In, You Can’t Win. So, we know that attendance is the first step to success.

“There is a lot of Maths in my course. We don’t use calculators, just have to use Excel to create formulae. I now know why Mr Sheelan put so much emphasis on Excel in our ICT workshops in Coláiste Chú Chulainn.”  

The Bernard Duffy Scholarship will be open to applicants every academic year while the fund lasts.