On Saturday, September 21, a Longford native was among 21 students to receive a scholarship from the Naughton Foundation.
Rachel Ward, a past pupil of Meán Scoil Mhuire, Longford, was presented with the scholarship in The Science Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin.
Established in 2008 by Dr Martin Naughton and his wife Carmel, the scholarship aims to encourage students to persue science, engineering and technology at third level. The scholarship also supports Leaving Certificate students who wish to study in the aforementioned fields.
At the beginning, the scholarship was limited to 3 counties - Louth, Meath and Monaghan. Now, however, the scholarship has expanded and continues to do so. With further expansions expected to be announced in the near future, the bursary already serves 16 counties - including Longford.
The scholarship provides Rachel with €5,000 a year for her college education, as she persues a degree in Engineering at University College Dublin (UCD).
Martin and Carmel Naughton were joined for the presentations by Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn TD. Also in attendance on the day was Principal of Meán Scoil Mhuire, Longford, Paul Costello.
There to support and congratulate Rachel, Mr Costello was also there to receive the €1,000 which Rachel’s scholarship has earned for the school’s science department. Awarded to encourage interest in the fields of science, technology and engineering, Mr Costello has vowed to put the money to good use.
Mr Costello admits that he is thrilled for Rachel, explaining that she worked hard throughout her school years. Mr Costello also adds that all the teachers in the school are also delighted for the past pupil.
Speaking about the event itself, Mr Costello happily reports that girls were very well represented on the day. This is a welcome change from the days when girls studying engineering or science were few and far between.
This is not the first Naughton scholarship to be awarded to a Longford student. In 2012, Patrick Heslin and Jason Nertney - past pupils of Moyne Community School - were awarded the scholarship to aid their studies in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics in NUIM and Engineering in UCD respectively.
To learn more about the Naughton Foundation Scholarship Programme, or to apply for next year’s scholarships, visit the website on www.thenaughtonfoundation.ie.