These were among the words of support and encouragement offered by Seán Staunton as he congratulated the winners of the 2011/2012 Corrib Third-Level Scholarships, at the fifth annual celebratory dinner last Saturday night.

The Chairman of the scholarship board lauded the ten students, who were chosen from over 60 applicants from the four second-level schools in the Erris area last year. He wished them well in their college courses – which range from arts management to physiotherapy and from industrial bio-chemistry to primary school teaching – and complimented their parents and teachers on the role they had played in shaping such excellent young people.

“Someone once said that ‘parents and teachers exist to be outgrown’ and that is true. They are there to support and nurture you for a time, and will always continue to be there to love you, but the time comes when you make your own choices and stand on your own two feet, as you are doing now,” he said.

Shell E&P Ireland Limited’s (SEPIL’s) Managing Director, Michael Crothers – attending his first scholarship dinner – also congratulated the parents, teachers and students on their achievements and said the company was delighted to be investing in such a worthwhile way in the local community.

“Shell runs scholarship programmes all over the world, but this is certainly among the most impressive. We are very proud to be able to contribute to the Erris community through such a positive initiative, and I am grateful for the fine work and dedication of the scholarship board,” he said.

The event was attended by the ten successful scholars, their parents, the members of the independent scholarship board – Seán Staunton, Fr Kevin Hegarty, Breda Holmes, Tony McGarry and Bridie O’Donnell – principals of some of the Erris schools and SEPIL staff.

The ten students who received scholarships are:

Seán Ó Murchú, Coláiste Chomáin, Rossport (B Tech (Ed) Materials and Architectural Technology);

Máire Ní Rudaigh, Coláiste Chomáin, Rossport (Bachelor of Business Recreation and Leisure);

Colm Kelly, St Patrick’s College, Lacken Cross (Bachelor Degree in Physics and Instrumentation);

Tara Carey, St Patrick’s College, Lacken Cross (Bachelor of Science);

Aoife Cafferkey, Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet (BA (Arts) Degree);

Rachel Carey, Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet (Business Studies and Arts Management);

Siobhán Barrett, St Brendan’s College, Belmullet (BSc Physiotherapy);

Martin Donoghue, St Brendan’s College, Belmullet (Bachelor Degree in Construction Management);

Amy Gallagher, Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet (Bachelor of Education);

Laura McAndrew, St Patrick’s College, Lacken Cross (Bachelor of Science in Industrial Biochemistry).

A total of 51 students have been awarded scholarships in the last five years under the Corrib Natural Gas Erris Third-Level Scholarship Programme.