By Frances Fitzgerald
Four former students of Coláiste Nano Nagle secondary school have been presented with scholarships as part of the newly established Noreen McManus Scholarship Fund.
Noreen McManus and daughter Sue Ann Foley attended the launch on Monday at the school on Sexton Street to present chosen students with a bursary grant.
The scholarship fund totals €250,000, to be dispersed over a period of five years, in an effort to aid students in third level education.
Three students who receive the highest Leaving Cert results in their class will be offered €3,000 each for the duration of their third level course, and the student who receives the highest result in the Leaving Cert applied programme will also be offered financial backing.
A winning student of the scholarship fund, Rachel Constable, is now studying Industrial Biochemistry at the University of Limerick.
“This scholarship is allowing me to attend the college of my choice, to further educate myself in the area that interests me, without financial restrictions, and will eventually allow me to move on to my chosen career,” Rachel said.
Addressing Mrs McManus, Rachel said: “I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunities you have opened up for me.”
Students also in receipt of the Noreen McManus Scholarship fund are Bene Mombouana, currently studying games design and development at the Institute of Technology in Tipperary; Sarah Nash, now studying French and Irish at Mary Immaculate College in Limerick; and Chantelle Hartigan, who received the scholarship as a Leaving Certificate Applied student, and is now studying hairdressing at the Limerick College of Further Education.
To commemorate the occasion, Mrs McManus was invited to plant a snowy mespilus tree on the grounds of the school. She said: “What a lovely surprise to be planting a beautiful tree. I hope you all grow like the tree will grow.
“To all the girls and to the scholarship winners today, and to all who pass through the gates here, congratulations, well done, and enjoy your lives here,” said Mrs McManus.
Principal of Coláiste Nano Nagle Marian Cummins thanked Mrs McManus for the generosity and commitment to her alma mater.
“This is a happy occasion. The generosity of the McManus family is well-known and acknowledged by all, both locally and nationally,” said the principal.
In regards to the scholarship and its benefits for students, Mrs Cummins said: “There is a spin-off effect for all our girls, and it is an incentive for our students to do better and make a better effort with the rewards ahead.”
Mrs McManus and daughter Sue Ann Foley unveiled a ‘Scholarship Tree’ to all in attendance at the launch, which featured the engraved names of students receiving the scholarship fund this year, after which, Mrs McManus was presented with a replica of the tree.