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MIC Students Awarded for their Achievements

March 27th 2013

Five very deserving MIC students were presented with the MIC Foundation – Award for Excellence at an award ceremony held in TARA, Mary Immaculate College last night. These awards, which are now in their fourth year, are supported equally by the MIC Foundation (MICF) and the MISU, (Students’ Union) and are given in recognition to students who demonstrate excellence in an area of endeavour, such as music, arts, sport etc. This year, ten students were shortlisted for interview by the Awarding Panel, which consisted of Dr. Gary O’Brien, Assoc. Vice President, MIC and Deirdre Kennelly (General Manager MISU), with seven students receiving Awards for Excellence whilst three students received Highly Commended Awards.

The Awards for Excellence, valued at €500 each, were presented to the following successful recipients: Sinéad Ryan from Limerick for music (BA student); Máire Fitzgerald from Co. Cork for her involvement in scouting (B.Ed in Education & Psychology); Michael Sheehan from Abbeyfeale for soccer (B.Ed Student); Sorcha Curtin from Co. Clare for music (B.Ed Student) and Dominic Taylor from Limerick for his involvement in the Limerick Writer’s Centre (BA student).

The Awards for Excellence, valued at €250 were presented to Sinéad Neylon from Ennis for Irish dancing (B.Ed student) and Michelle Costello from Co. Limerick for media publishing (BA student).

The Highly Commended Students included Kenneth Breen and Paul O’Callaghan both from Co. Kerry, for Irish dancing and Music respectively, and Rebecca Egan from Co. Offaly for Radio & Social Media.

Presenting the awards, Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC said;

“I am delighted to be presenting a number of awards here this evening to a variety of deserving students, students who give their time in the pursuit of excellence, students who represent their peers as Class Reps, students who sit on the MISU Executive Committee and students who manage the various MISU Clubs & Societies.”

The competition for the receipt of the scholarships was open to all full-time undergraduate MIC students who had successfully completed the first year of their studies. Applicants had to be able to demonstrate excellence in an area of endeavour as well as academic progression in addition to involvement in various college activities. 

Commenting on the awards Ms. Deirdre Kennelly, MISU General Manager said;

MISU are delighted to once again be involved with the MIC Foundation Award for Excellence. The awards provide us with an opportunity to learn about the great achievements of our students and we were very impressed with the high standard of the applicants. I would like to congratulate all the applicants on their achievements to date and wish them every success in the future”.

Also included in the nights celebrations were the presentation of certificates to MISU Class Reps, 96 in total, and to the MISU Executive Committee Members consisting of

  • Welfare & Equality – Tara Doolan
  • Entertainments – James Mac Eoin & Ciara Swanton
  • Societies – Sadhbh McCoy & Johann O’ Brien
  • Clubs & Sports – Lar Considine & Elaine O’ Dwyer
  • Culture & Gaeilge -  Áine Boland & James Blackwell
  • Postgraduate – Alan McAuliffe
  • Union Council Chair – Lynsey Delaney

In addition the recipients of the MISU Clubs and Societies Winners were announced as follows:

Best Event – Summer Sessions

Best Society – One World Society

Best Civic Contribution – RAG Society

Best Poster – One World Society

Best Fresher – Kevin O’ Kelly

Bringing the evening’s celebrations to a close Prof. Hayes said,

I commend you all on your accomplishments and I wish you all the very best as you continue to pursue

Excellence and fulfilment in your chosen fields, which will lead you towards increasingly flourishing lives.”.

He concluded by thanking Darragh Wynne (Students’ Union President), Cillian McHugh (Students Union Vice- President) and Deirdre Kennelly (MISU Manager)  for organising the evening’s events. 

Awards for Excellence

Sinéad Ryan

Sinéad Ryan from Croom in Co. Limerick is a Final Year BA student.

Sinéad’s area of Excellence is Music. She plays the piano and Irish harp and is a grade 8 harpist with the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  She has been awarded a High Achiever Award from the Royal Irish Academy of Music and obtained a DipMusLCM with London College of Music, and is a Harpist with Bunratty Castle's Medieval Banquets

Her undergraduate dissertation, ‘The Harp in Latin America during the Baroque’ has received expressions of interest from scholars abroad. Sinéad has been accepted into the University of Limerick’s Professional Diploma of Music Education which she will begin in September 2013.

Sinéad is a member of the MIC Choral Society, is a Class Rep and member of the Mary I Ball Committee.

Máire Fitzgerald

Máire Fitzgerald is from Waterfall in Co. Cork and is a 2nd Year B.Ed & Psychology student.

Máire’s area of Excellence is scouting. She has been a member of Scouting Ireland for the past 15 years.  An active member of the Rover youth section as both a participant and facilitator for her peers, she is also a leader with the younger sections.

In 2008, Máire was awarded the Chief Scout Award; in October 2012 she was elected as a county representative within Scouting Ireland and has been elected as provincial and national youth representative. In 2012 she was chosen to represent Ireland at an Inter-Regional Event called Agora and she was asked to return as a member of the four person planning team to run Agora in 2013.

Máire has earned the explorer Belt, which is regarded as one of the highest awards available in Scouting. Máire is currently representing Ireland at the International Scout Peace Camp in Indonesia.

Máire is also a life member of the Irish Red Cross, the chairperson of the Rovers Society and a Class Rep. 

Michael Sheehan

Michael Sheehan, a 3rd B.Ed student is from Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick.

Michael’s area of Excellence is soccer. He started playing with his local club in Abbeyfeale and quickly progressed through the ranks. When he was 14 he was playing at U18 level. At 16 he was noticed by Belvedere FC, one of the most prestigious underage clubs in the country. At 17 he was signed by Limerick FC. Michael played with Limerick FC for 3 years. He has spent the last 18 months playing soccer in Denver, Colorado after receiving a scholarship from Regis University.  During his time in Denver Michael coached children with Downs Syndrome.

He currently plays with the MIC Men’s Soccer Team.

Sorcha Curtin

Sorcha Curtin is from Miltown-Malbay in Co. Clare and is a 3rd year B.Ed student.

Her area of excellence is music; her musical endeavours particularly centre on the performance, appreciation and promotion of Irish traditional music.

Sorcha plays the piano, concertina and tin whistle. She has studied classical piano and musical theory with both the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Associated Board of Royal Schools of music. Sorcha teaches and performs at many Irish music festivals. She is a concertina tutor at Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy and the Concertina Cruinniú, Miltown-Malbay. She has worked as a piano tutor at Maoin Cheoil an Chláir.

She has performed a solo concertina track on the CD ‘On Malbay’s Shore’, played for Muhammad Ali during his visit to Ennis in 2009, and has featured regularly on radio stations such as Clare FM, Raidió na Gaeltachta and RTÉ’s  Céilí House.

Sorcha is a member of the MIC Choral Society and the Traditional Music Society.

Dominic Taylor

Dominic is from Limerick City and is a 2nd year B.A Student.

Dominic is a founder member of the Limerick Writer’s Centre, a non-profit organisation established in 2009. He runs the centre on a daily basis and has been responsible for running workshops for poetry, short story, script writing and memoir writing.

He organises and runs the ‘On the Nail’ Literary Gathering which takes place once a month in the Loft Venue, George’s Quay. He has been responsible for the publication of over 20 books, including some first time authors.

He has organised the publication of Kemmy’s Limerick Miscellany, a history anthology and Luaithreach Angela, an Irish Language edition of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes.

Dominic has had his own poetry published in various journals and have read at Cuisle Poetry Festival and Brighton International Poetry Festival.

He is a volunteer with Wired FM and is involved with the Creative Writing Society.


Recipients of €250 bursaries


Sinéad Neylon

Sinéad Neylon is from Ennis in Co. Clare and is a 3rd Year B.Ed

Sinéad’s area of excellence is Irish-Dancing. She has qualified for the World Dancing Championships from 2005-2013 currently a world medal holder. She is a Munster, All-Ireland and European Solo medal holder as well as Munster, All-Ireland and Set-Dancing World Champion. She will be competing in the World Dancing Championships in Boston in in the Ladies under 21 solo and will captain the Senior Ladies Ceilí Team. Sinéad has successfully completed an audition for Riverdance and is currently waiting on a place. She has secured a place in the production’s sequel show.

Michelle Costello

Michelle Costello is from Castleconnell in Co. Limerick and is a 4th year B.A student.

Michelle’s area of Excellence is media publishing. In 2012, Michelle produced and published the Student Life Magazine which was aimed at all students across Limerick City. She is currently looking into the possibility of opening a media hub in Limerick City for students where they can gain experience in different media fields.


Highly Commended


Kenneth Breen

Kenneth Breen is from Tralee, Co. Kerry and his area of excellence is Irish Dancing. 

Kenneth has competed in Munster, All- Ireland and World Dancing Championships. He has toured with shows such as ‘Legend of the Knight’ and ‘Spirit of Ireland’

Paul O’ Callaghan

Paul O’ Callaghan is from Co. Kerry and is a 3rd year B.Ed.

His area of excellence is music. Paul plays the piano, concert flute and is also a singer. He has completed exams with the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He is a member of MIDAS

Rebecca Egan

Rebecca Egan is from Birr, Co. Offaly.

Her area of excellence is Radio & Social Media.  Rebecca has four blogs – two of which are class related and two independent.  She uses her blogs to write about her art, her study abroad year as well as fashion.


Pictured at the recent Student Awards held in Mary Immaculate College were Darragh Wynne MISU President; Sinéad Ryan from Limerick, Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC; Dominic Taylor from Limerick; Sorcha Curtin from Clare and Michael Sheehan from Abbeyfeale.

The Awards for Excellence, valued at €500, were given in recognition to students who demonstrate excellence in an area of endeavour, such as music, arts, sport etc.

Pictured at the recent Student Awards 2013 were Michelle Costello from Co. Limerick, Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC, Darragh Wynne MISU President and Sinéad Neylon from Ennis.

The Awards for Excellence, valued at €250, were given in recognition to students who demonstrate excellence in an area of endeavour, such as music, arts, sport etc.

Pictured at the recent Student Awards held in Mary Immaculate College were Darragh Wynne MISU President; Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC and recipients of the Highly Commended Students Certificate Paul O'Callaghan from Co. Kerry and Rebecca Egan  from Co. Offaly.

MISU Executive Committee pictured with Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC (centre) at the recent awards ceremony held in MIC

Class Reps 2013 pictured with Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC (centre)

Winners of the Clubs and Societies Award pictured with Darragh Wynne, MISU President (left) and Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC (centre)


Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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