Four Mary Immaculate students awarded bursaries in honour of late Rachel Kenneally

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Four Mary Immaculate students awarded bursaries in honour of late Rachel Kenneally

Sophie Hennessy, from Carrigkerry, is one of four students from Mary Immaculate College who have been awarded bursaries in honour of MIC graduate and Tipperary ladies footballer, Rachel Kenneally

FOUR students from Mary Immaculate College (MIC) have been awarded bursaries in honour of MIC graduate and Tipperary ladies footballer, Rachel Kenneally.

The Rachel Kenneally Memorial Award, a bursary scheme funded by Munster LGFA, was announced by MIC last February in honour of Rachel who sadly passed away in 2018 at the age of 26.

Sophie Hennessy, Fiona Keating, Micaela Glynn and Kate Hickey are the first cohort of students to be awarded bursaries under this scheme with each bursary valued at €750.

At the inaugural presentation of the Rachel Kenneally Memorial Award, which took place online, President of MIC, Professor Eugene Wall, commended the students for their commitment to ladies football and congratulated them on receiving these awards in recognition of their sporting achievements.

Speaking at the presentation, Professor Wall said, “Ladies football has a long tradition at MIC and we are committed to supporting female athletes and coaches while they are students here at the College, and also within their own communities.

In awarding Sophie, Fiona, Micaela and Kate these bursaries, it is envisaged that they will contribute to college life, and to their clubs and counties by playing, coaching, promoting and by being ambassadors for the sport. We are delighted to be able to honour MIC graduate, Rachel Kenneally in this way and these awards reflect our commitment to the development of high value scholarship initiatives and award schemes.”

For the four recipients of the Rachel Kenneally Memorial Award, Rachel was a player who they and many of their peers look to for inspiration.

"According to Sophie Hennessy who hails from Carrigkerry in Co. Limerick, “Rachel was a brilliant ambassador for ladies football and this bursary continues to elevate the profile of ladies football. I’m delighted to receive this bursary in her memory.” 

For Fiona Keating, a native of Ballinspittle in Co. Cork, “Rachel contributed so much to ladies football with her club, college and county. To be one of four awardees of this prestigious bursary means the world to me. I look forward to honouring Rachel's memory by putting this bursary to use to enable me to fulfill my potential academically and in my sporting career.”

Speaking at the online presentation, Rachel’s father, Denis Kenneally, said, “It is a huge honour for Mary (Rachel’s mother) and I, as well as Rachel’s sisters, Laura and Louise in Australia, and her extended family, for Rachel to be remembered in this way.

"We would like to congratulate the winners and also commend all of those who applied for this bursary scheme. It is a very difficult time for all but especially for young students. Rachel would be so proud of you all. Never give up hope – tomorrow is a new day."

Jerome Casey, President of Munster LGFA, said, “Munster LGFA is delighted to sponsor these bursaries for students in Mary Immaculate College in memory of Tipperary’s Rachel Kenneally. It is an honour to be partnering with MIC in this initiative and it is wonderful to honour Rachel in this way.”

All of the awardees are in their first year of college at MIC. Sophie Hennessey, Micaela Glynn and Kate Hickey are each studying at MIC Limerick to become primary teachers, while Fiona Keating is studying at MIC Thurles to become a mathematics and business studies post-primary teacher.

In total six students from each county in Munster received a bursary under this scheme. In addition to the four students from MIC, UCC student Mary O' Connell (Kerry) and UL student, Lucy Spillane (Tipperary) were also awarded bursaries.

According to Jerome Casey, President of Munster LGFA, “These six students will perform the role of ambassadors to champion ladies Gaelic football in their club, county and province of Munster over the next 12 months on behalf of MLGFA. 

This is very positive news in these very tough Covid-19 times and we are delighted to be giving these young women these bursaries to help fund their education for the 2020-21 college year.”