News and Views

UCC students score sports scholarships

16 Oct 2019
Race-walking champion Rob Heffernan (pictured) with some of the 65 students set to benefit from the UCC Sports Scholarship scheme. Photo: Provision.

University College Cork (UCC) today presented sports scholarships to 65 students, set to provide them with financial and backup supports. 

The UCC Sports Scholarship scheme provides benefits including access to a qualified exercise physiologist and academic support, if required. 

Also, four students were honoured with UCC Soccer Development Awards and two other students received UCC Athletics Development and UCC Tennis Development Awards. 

Professor John O'Halloran, Deputy President and Registrar at UCC, and race-walking champion Rob Heffernan, who became the only Irish athlete to compete in five consecutive Olympics in Rio 2016, presented the students with their awards at a ceremony in the Mardyke Pavilion. 

UCC Head of Sport, Morgan Buckley, is delighted to be able to honour these athletes. “We’re honoured to have so many talented athletes in UCC.  The scholarship programme is aimed to support the athletes financially and with other back up supports while they are studying and playing sport”

The awards ceremony recognised sports including athletics, basketball, camogie, Gaelic football, golf, hockey, hurling, judo, rowing, rugby, soccer, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. 

UCC is delighted with the continued support for these scholarships from former Irish Assistant Soccer Manager, Roy Keane, who supports many soccer awards. This year’s recipients of the Roy Keane Soccer Scholarships included Cork City Women’s FC and UCC’s Christina Dring and Maria O Sullivan. 

Simon Falvey, who was part of the UCC team who won the Munster Senior League, Collingwood Cup, and O'Connell Cup with UCC in 2018/19, was also a recipient of the Roy Keane Soccer Scholarship. Falvey represented Ireland at the World Student Games in Naples, Italy, during the summer. Matthew McKevitt also received a Roy Keane Sports Scholarship

The success of UCC Soccer Club in recent years was reflected with soccer scholarships presented to 14 players.

To support hurlers, the Michael J Dowling Hurling Scholarships were awarded to David Griffin, David Lowney, and Patrick O Loughlin.

Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Conway, Mark Kehoe, Brian Turnbull and Robbie O Flynn also received hurling awards.

James Taylor of UCC Rugby Club was honoured with the inaugural Moss Keane Rugby Scholarship. Taylor was instrumental in UCC retaining their AIL status last season.

Hurler Eoghan Murphy, UCC and Sarsfield GAA was the recipient again this year of the Jonathan Herlihy Memorial scholarship, the final year of this award.

The Jason Foley Memorial Basketball Scholarship was presented to Annaliese Murphy, UCC and UCC Glanmire. Murphy received the basketball scholarship for a second year and in addition to assisting UCC basketball club in the colleges league & Intervarsities, she is part of the UCC Glanmire Super League squad. She was part of the Irish U20 team who won bronze at the recent European Championships.  

Jason Foley died tragically in 2005 on the basketball court and his family honoured his memory by presenting the basketball scholarship in his honour for the past number of years. His parents Billy and Mariane attended to make the presentation to Annaliese.

Amy Dooley also received a scholarship as a UCC fresher for her performances with the Irish U20 team during the summer, while David Lehane received an award recognising his performances for the Irish U20’s & UCC Demons. 

UCC rugby club, which dramatically retained its All-Ireland Division 1A last season, presented 14 scholarships reflecting the strength of the senior and U20 teams. Katie Boylan received a women’s rugby scholarship. 

Three students - all field athletes - received athletic scholarships. These were Rugby Millet, current no. 1 in women's senior long jump, Grace Furlong, Irish U23 triple jump champion, and David Cussen, High Jump champion. 

Cork Senior camogie player Orla Cronin retained her scholarship award and was joined by Hayley Ryan in receiving an award.

Kerry’s Seán O'Shea topped the list in the Gaelic Football awards alongside five of his UCC colleagues.

Caoimhe Condon and Emma Spillane received ladies Gaelic Football scholarships, while Rebecca Kingston, Elva Aphra & Sam Liburn received hockey scholarships.

For the first time, Judo was honoured with TJ Palmer named recipient of the scholarship for that sport. 

Paralympic swimmer Sean O Riordan, who recently competed at the Para World Championships, had his scholarship renewed, while para table tennis Patrick Vaughan, a first-year student at UCC, received his first scholarship. 

Volleyball has three re-awardees as Claire Denley, Kelsey Robinson and Nicholas McCaughan assisted UCC volleyball club in winning all their competitions in 2018/19. 

The Scholarship Ceremony today took place ahead of the Quercus Ceremony, which will be held later this month in UCC and honour eight students, who will receive Quercus Scholarships for their sporting prowess. 

For more on this story contact:

Christine O Donovan, Deputy Director of Sport & Physical Activity, UCC, on

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