Tallaght students receive FitzGerald Family Scholarships

by Rachel Cunningham
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Rachel Cunningham

Two Tallaght students have been awarded educational scholarships through a community-based initiative which strives to create equal access opportunities to third-level education.

The two students, who successfully completed their Leaving Certificate exams this summer and are now in university, were presented with the FitzGerald Family Scholarship awards at a special ceremony held in An Cosán community education centre, Jobstown, on Wednesday, October 13.

Hollie McDonnell, who attended St Aidan’s Community School, is now pursuing a BA joint honours degree course in English and Philosophy at University College Dublin, while Alan Smith, formerly of Mount Seskin Community College, is now studying Law at Maynooth University.

An Cosán set up the scholarship in 2004 in memory of Joan, who was committed to the advancement and empowerment of women and to an Irish society characterised by justice. Hollie and Alan were presented with their scholarship awards by Réachbha FitzGerald, grand-daughter of the late Garret and Joan Fitzgerald.

An Cosán’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Anne Genockey, commented: “Joan’s love of learning and her passion for justice was the seedbed of her extraordinary wisdom. The co-founders of An Cosán had the privilege of knowing Joan in her later years and described her as an inspiration to their work in West Tallaght.”

An Cosán Corporate Services Manager, Bronagh Moore, explained that they received a number of worthy nominees for the scholarships but Hollie and Alan stood out the most. She stated: “Hollie is described by the Principal of St Aidan’s Community School, Karen Quigley, as a wonderful, hard-working and very pleasant student who made very positive contributions to her school over the five years she attended and was an excellent role model for the younger students. She always gave 100 per cent to her education.

“Over the past number of years Alan has worked hard and engaged fully in his education. He has inspired and encouraged many other students in Mount Seskin Community College, who were happy to nominate him for this award. Alan achieved 548 points in his Leaving Cert. He is described by his Guidance Counsellor, Fiona Ryan, as a fantastic young man who is highly motivated and extremely sociable.

“We wish both Hollie and Alan every success in the future.”

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