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Over €100, 000 in research bursaries awarded to post-grad students at Limerick college

Over €100, 000 in research bursaries awarded to post-grad students at Limerick college

Teacher Christine Ní Chathasaigh is one of the bursary recipients

MORE than €100,000 has been awarded in research bursaries from An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) to six postgraduate students at Mary Immaculate College.

The bursaries, which are valued at €17,612 each, will support PhD students at MIC to engage in critical research on key aspects of Irish-medium and Gaeltacht education.

Welcoming the bursaries from COGG, Professor Michael Healy, Vice-President of Research at MIC, said: “Mary Immaculate College is immensely proud of our M Oid san Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge agus Gaeltachta programme. Since its inception, the programme has gone from strength to strength, and this new development, involving sponsorship of merit-based Ph. bursaries by An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, further underpins the excellence of the programme right through to doctoral level."

Muireann Ní Mhóráin, Chief Executive of COGG, said: “A key function of An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta is to support a wide variety of research and action initiatives aimed at the development of the Gaeltacht and Irish-medium sector and the teaching of Irish in all schools. Research is critically needed to guide and stimulate a more comprehensive, cohesive, systematic and future-ready approach. These PhD research proposals have the potential to provide a distinctive and significant contribution to the field. COGG is delighted to support such research initiatives and wishes the awardees all the best with their research trajectories.”

The bursary awardees include Christine Ní Chathasaigh, teacher at Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh in Limerick city; Caitríona Ní Luasa, principal of Gaelscoil Naomh Séamas in Killorglin, County Kerry; Caitríona Ní Mhurchú, deputy principal of Gaelscoil Inis Córthaidh in Enniscorthy, County Wexford; Carmel Nic Airt, part-time lecturer at MIC and former principal of Gaelscoil Uí Chaoileáin in Clonakilty, County Cork; Helena Nic an Fhailí, advisor at the Professional Development Service for Teachers and seconded teacher from Gaelscoil Liatroma in Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim and Toirdealbhach Ó Lionaird, principal of Coláiste Gobnatán in Ballyvourney, County Cork. Each of the bursary recipients are graduates of MIC’s M Oid san Oideachas Lán-Ghaeilge agus Gaeltachta programme.

Christine Ní Chathasaigh’s doctoral research will focus on teacher language awareness and will examine the specific needs, professional development and impact of this learning on teachers’ pedagogical practice.

According to Christine, who teaches Home Economics and Irish in Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh, teachers are the most important factor in ensuring the success of the immersion system. "A qualification in Irish is not an essential requirement to teach in the sector. We have much to learn about how subject teachers go about effective language development and about the impact of this learning on their pedagogical practice in the Irish-medium immersion classroom. My research will explore this delicate topic.”

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