THE Mayor of Limerick City and County has praised the continued support which JP McManus and his family are providing for students in Limerick and across the country.
Cllr Michael Sheahan – a former national school teacher – made his comments at the annual JP McManus scholarships awards ceremony at the Dunraven Arms Hotel in Adare.
The 2019 recipients of JP McManus scholarships – Evan Boland, Ben Ryan-Fitzgerald, Martin Hayes, Michal Hrynisak, Jakub Kaczmarek, Vitali Kobin, Andriy Kyrychenko and Marek Pogorzalek - will each receive €6,750 a year for the duration of their third level studies.
“These students have become part of a thriving community of third level students whose collective academic potential and ability has made all of us fill with great limerick pride,” stated Cllr Sheahan.
“We all hold he scholarships in very high regard and we recognise the positive impact they have had on the third level lives of those students who have been fortunate enough to have received them down through the years,” the mayor added and he noted the All-Ireland Scholarships, also funded by JP McManus, will be presented at the University Concert Hall later this month.
Since the scholarship scheme were established 23 years ago, 185 past pupils of CBS Sexton Street have received scholarships towards their third level education at a cost of almost €3.5m.
The scholarship scheme, which currently costs around €200,000 to run every year, is administered by four trustees: Gerry Boland, Noel Earlie, Eddie Fallon and Pat Hartigan, on behalf of JP McManus, who is a past pupil of CBS Sexton Street.
This year’s scholarships were presented by the Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan who paid tribute to the McManus family for providing former students of CBS Sexton Street with such an opportunity.
“This group of lads from Sexton Street are getting an absolutely magnificent start in life where they are able to leave second level, go on into third level and not have the financial worries that they would otherwise have,” he said.
One of the recipients – Michal Hrynisak – told the Limerick Leader he was surprised when he learned he had received a scholarship.
“I did work hard but I was honestly surprised at how much points I got (in the Leaving Cert) but I very happy. It’s obviously a great honour, the financial aid is also great – it helps us get through college and also the prestige of getting the scholarship is very big and it is a great honour to have the name of JP McManus on our CVs,” said Michal who has begun studying Hotel Management at Shannon College of Hotel Management.
The latest recipients of JP McManus scholarships have been told to embrace the fluid nature of the modern economy but to focus their efforts on areas which they are interested in.
That was the advice of businessman Pat Lucey who was the guest of honour at this year’s awards ceremony.
Pat, who attended Colaiste Mhichíl between 1979 and 1984, went on to work with Siemens and Motorola before co-founding Aspira – a consulting and technology company – in 2007.
He told this years’s scholarship recipients to enjoy the next couple of years before beginning their work careers.
“Following something that you are interested in is the most important thing. When you look at careers now – you guys are going to have lots and lots of different roles – it’s the gig economy where you will move between roles and jobs so just make sure that it’s something that you enjoy doing,” said the Patrickswell native.
Denis O’Connor, principal of CBS Sexton Street, was the MC for Friday’s awards ceremony.
Representatives of Limerick’s three third-level institutions as well as the primary schools of the scholarship recipients were in attendance.