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Check out financial supports available





By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

The financial burden on students and adults who are planning to or are already attending college is a huge source of stress in many households.

While the investment in education provides long term benefits, in the short and medium term the financial pressure can be felt by parents, guardians, partners and families. The cost of fees, accommodation, living expenses, and travel are substantial, so it is important to check out the various financial supports that are available to those embarking on college courses at any age and stage.


SUSI (Student Universal Support Ireland) is Ireland’s single national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. SUSI offers funding to eligible students in approved full-time third-level education in Ireland and also, in some cases, funding for students studying outside of Ireland. Support is available to all types of students, from school leavers to mature students returning to education. The priority date for new applicants to SUSI is tomorrow (July 8) and while you can still apply for funding after these dates, students who submit their application by this date will receive priority processing in autumn. All details and guides to filling out the application can be found on

Back to Education Allowance

The BTEA is a scheme for unemployed people, lone parents and people with disabilities who are getting certain payments from the Department of Social Protection. The allowance can be paid to people who wish to pursue approved second or third level courses of education. BTEA is not an unemployment payment and is paid instead of the Social Welfare Payment. For details see

Scholarships and Bursaries

There are numerous scholarships and bursaries available to support students. The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will have details of those that are offered through the college themselves, some of which are based on academic performance but many others across areas such as sport, the arts, entrepreneurship, volunteerism etc. There are also bursaries offered by industry partners, companies and organisations that are specific to an area of study, for example engineering, pharmacy, and STEM. Deadlines for applications and eligibility criteria vary so consult the relevant college websites for details.
The 1916 Bursary Fund is provided to students coming from an economically disadvantaged background. Further information on the application process is available from the website or Access office of the institution in which you intend to study.


Fund for Students with Disabilities

The Fund for Students with Disabilities (FSD) is available through Access offices in the colleges to ensure students with disabilities have the necessary assistance and equipment to enable them to access, fully participate in and successfully complete their chosen course of study.

Student Assistance Fund

The Student Assistance Fund provides financial support to full or part-time students who are experiencing financial difficulties while attending college. Students can apply to help with either temporary or ongoing financial difficulties by contacting the Student Services Office in the college. A range of other bursaries and scholarships are also available from the Department of Education and Skills including the All-Ireland Scholarships and the Third Level Bursary Scheme as well as other organisations. All details can be found on

Financial Institutions

Many credit unions offer education loans to members, either for the support of members themselves or for a son or daughter. Banks often provide personal loans or overdrafts to students at preferential rates. 

At Killarney Credit Union, education loan packages are available to members all year around to cater for the needs of members applying for further or higher education and postgraduate studies. Student bursaries to the value of €4,000 are offered to members annually. 

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors and Careers Advisor at She can be contacted on or via Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on @mycareerplan1.

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Kerry’s youth celebrated at the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards

This year’s overall winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement is Ryan Griffin from Waterville who was nominated by Mairead O’Sullivan from Killorglin Family Resource Centre. Ryan Griffin […]




This year’s overall winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement is Ryan Griffin from Waterville who was nominated by Mairead O’Sullivan from Killorglin Family Resource Centre.

Ryan Griffin is a member of the Skellig Stars and was chosen to represent Kerry at the Special Olympics.
Ryan’s biggest hurdle is communication and he had to overcome this during his trip to Berlin for the big event.

Ryan has overcome his disabilities by focusing on all the great abilities he has. Ryan attends mainstream school in Coláiste na Sceilge where he is a very respected member of the School Community. He is a member of Kerry Stars and also Downs Syndrome Kerry.

Ryan has always had a keen interest in sport and even played with the local team in Waterville, but now Ryan thinks it’s too fast for him so he prefers to cheer them on from the side-lines.

Ryan has always been involved with the Community and they have never left him out. Ryan started out his athletics career with Skellig Stars and without them he would have gone to the Special Olympics and he has never forgotten when he came from.

Ryan and his family are very grateful to the local community in Waterville and the surrounding area for all the support they have given them over the years and especially now with the Special Olympics coming closer.

The whole community from Waterville to Mid-Kerry got behind Ryan, raising funds to help his family go to Berlin for 2 weeks. Ryan is now an inspiration to others to overcome difficulties and “go for gold”.

Ryan was the only representative from Kerry on this years Irish Special Olympics Team and in fact one of the Youngest Athletes on Team Ireland at only 16yrs of age, which was a great honour for him.
This in itself is a great achievement but it also shows his friends at Skellig Stars, Downs Syndrome Kerry and in the wider community that dreams do come true.

It took a lot of hard work and determination on Ryan’s behalf to make these dreams come true, not least the long journey he had to make from South Kerry to Dublin once a month since last January to train for the Special Olympics. He also trained weekly with the Skellig Stars.

At the 2023 Special Olympics in Berlin Ryan took part in the 100m run and the relay but his biggest achievement was winning the Silver Medal in the mini javelin. This showed others that overcoming difficulties can be possible and you can achieve your goals with hard work and determination, which Ryan has in abundance.

Local Merit Awards

Aliza Gul, Killarney
Joey McCarthy, Killarney
John O’Connor, Killarney
Nattagun Ryan, Killarney
Samuel Behal, Killarney
St Brendan’s Choir, Killarney

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Controversial finish to Cougar’s opening match of season

Basketball Ireland is to review the result Killarney Cougars opening match of the new Basketball season. The opening game of the season was  long and eventful The game was abandoned […]




Basketball Ireland is to review the result Killarney Cougars opening match of the new Basketball season.

The opening game of the season was  long and eventful

The game was abandoned with 1.48 seconds remaining in the second quarter with the court unplayable due to condensation, however Portlaoise Panthers plea to change venue was allowed by the officials.

The game continued an hour later in Portlaoise College despite the Killarney protest with the long delay to proceedings and the game already abandoned in the St Mary’s venue.

Panthers held the advantage through the second quarter  whan the game was abandoned following a series of bad slips and falls on the wet floor with just under two minutes remaining,  

Darius Hopkins heavy slip and fall that finally saw the game stopped.

The remainder of the game in in the new venue was completed without any competitive edge.

Cougars finished with a series of injuries to Bill Wiseman, Alex Fleming and Oleh Drahanchuk with the game conditions and long delays a contributing factor but the homeside won the contest. 

A final decision on the outcome of the game is expected by Basketball Ireland following a review of events.


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