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Sunday 11 December 2016

First recipeients of George Byrne Busaries say award 'means the world' to them

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Two of the three George Byrne Bursary recipients, Laura Spencer and Rob Dunlop pictured with George's parents Kay and Michael with his sister Andrea (centre) on December 3, 2015
Two of the three George Byrne Bursary recipients, Laura Spencer and Rob Dunlop pictured with George's parents Kay and Michael with his sister Andrea (centre) on December 3, 2015

The first recipients of the George Byrne Bursaries have described how the award "means the world" to them.

Three Dublin-based students - Kim Carrol, Rob Dunlop and Laura Spencer - were over the moon this week after they were present with bursaries worth €1,000 each to support students studying courses in food, music or journalism.

The bursaries were launched in July 2015 to honour the legacy of Herald journalist George (57), who passed away last April following a short illness.

The music and entertainment legend was film critic for the Herald for several years as well as a hugely knowledgeable music critic and television and book reviewer.

Recipient Kym Carroll (28), currently studying for a Masters Degree in Journalism and PR, described how valuable the bursary is to her after battling through money problems to return to third-level education.

"I'm working part-time as a chef as well as paying fees of €7,000 so this means the world to me," Ms Carroll told the Herald.

"Because I'm in college full-time, I can't work as much as I need to and I don't get any grants so I had to take out a loan to pay my fees as well as my rent. I'm a qualified chef but I went back to college to pursue my dreams, and this money will go toward my college fees, so it is amazing," added the Griffith College student.

Fourth-year culinary arts student Rob Dunlop (30), hoping one day to open his own cooking school, will also use the funding to help pay his college fees.

George Byrne
George Byrne

"At the moment I am just about surviving, so this is a fantastic support and it is great that they are helping people in the area," Mr Dunlop said.

Liberties native and culinary student Laura Spencer, (28), said she was "over the moon" to receive the award, and she will use the money to fund the purchase of new uniforms and knives for her craft.

Funds worth €8,000 were raised by friends of George at a gig in Whelan's of Wexford St and his sister Andrea Byrne said that she was "very proud" to present the bursaries to those who "really need it".

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