Martin McGuinness peace bursary recipients speak of ‘life-changing impact’

Two young Derry women who were among the first beneficiaries of a peace bursary launched in memory of the late Martin McGuinness have spoken of how the initiative made a huge difference as they completed their studies.

Carla McLaughlin pictured with Andrew McCartney.
Carla McLaughlin pictured with Andrew McCartney.

The Martin McGuinness Peace Foundation said it was delighted to announce the first recipients of its Martin McGuinness education and employment bursary.

Carla McLaughlin and Aoife Doherty, both from Derry, recently received their awards.

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Others awarded funding from the bursary scheme stretch from Derry to Cork.

Aoife Doherty pictured with Charles Lamberton.

A spokesperson for the Martin Mc Guinness Peace Foundation commented: “Martin McGuinness was passionate about the importance of education and employment to help people to build better futures for themselves and their families.

“We were delighted to launch this bursary in his name as a very appropriate way to remember him and to build on his incredible legacy.

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“Carla and Aoife are just two of the successful applicants across Ireland and this award will support them in their studies. We wish them every success with their future.”

Carla commented: “Receiving the Martin McGuinness Peace Bursary had a life-changing impact for me. During the completion of my MSc Thesis, I was suffering major health problems and had to leave my part-time job as a result.

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“This was funding my studies and I was on the verge of needing to leave my MSc peace and conflict studies at this late stage.”

Aoife commented: “I am very thankful for the Martin McGuinness Peace Foundation and how the bursary I was awarded has helped me. Student loans are often not enough to cover all university fees.

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“This bursary has given me the means to be able to attend university, have access to a great education and prepare me for my future.

“The bursary allowed me to complete my thesis and helped alleviate stress so that I could also apply for my Graduate job to begin once my studies were completed in September. I could not have done without the financial support.”

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The spokesperson for the foundation encouraged people to apply for next year’s bursary via the Peace Foundation website.

“The Foundation would like to thank those who sponsored some of the bursaries this year and we would also be delighted to hear from any local businesses that may wish to support the bursary going forward, please get in touch via [email protected]