A YOUNG man studying to be a vet has been awarded the Bantry Credit Union Third-Level Education Scholarship for 2022.
Jack Ward from Dromourneen, is the 20th annual winner of the scholarship, which is worth €6,000 over four years.
Son of John and Catharina Ward, Jack sat his Leaving Cert last June at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí (CPB). He is now studying Veterinary Medicine at Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Poland. He is the first scholarship winner to study outside of Ireland or the UK.
At an informal ceremony at the credit union office before Christmas, the chairperson of Bantry Credit Union, Eddie Mullins, presented Jack with his award.
He referred to Jack’s many talents and achievements, how he is an accomplished rugby player and was on the Munster underage squad for the past few years. In 2021, Jack played the full Interprovincials against Ulster, Connacht and Leinster. He also won the School Sports Person of the Year award at the CPB 2022 awards.
Not surprising given his preferred career, Jack also loves farming. He breeds Charolais cattle and has won prizes at many shows around the country. And then there is Jack’s photography, including winning a sizeable prize in the Farmers Journal calendar competition a few years back. And finally, he is also active in his community, helping out at kids’ sports camps and volunteering at the Bantry Agricultural Show.
Little wonder, the chairperson said, that Jack made such an impression on the adjudicators.
Mr Mullins explained that this is the 20th consecutive year of the scheme. The scholarship is awarded following a rigorous process, involving a detailed application form, a written submission and an interview.
Mr Mullins said, ‘Whoever wins the scholarship will have earned it!’
The assessment and decision-making process is conducted entirely by a panel of independent adjudicators, whose decision is binding on the credit union. Mr Mullins thanked the adjudicators, each of whom has given almost unbroken service to the scholarship scheme since the beginning in 2003: James Kilduff (Munster Technological University), Olive McCarthy (University College Cork) and Denis O’Sullivan (retired deputy principal of Maria Immaculata Community College, Dunmanway).
Principal of Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, Marian Carey, also attended and paid tribute to Jack.
‘Jack is first and foremost a gent,’ she said.
She spoke about his personal qualities, his values, his achievements and his academic abilities and wished him well in his studies and future career.