Only the beginning

Friday September 26th 2014

12 months ago I received a phone call into work from a certain Úna Kelly.  It was a phone call that would offer me the chance to become one of six Michaela Foundation Scholars and a phone call that would quite frankly change my life…big words but wholeheartedly true. As I sit down to write my final blog I write it with a sense of sadness. My year as a Michaela Scholar has drawn to a close but what a year it has been.

Every month was filled with stories to share, experiences to talk about, challenges to overcome and opportunities to reach. From my very first blog my aim was to always give an honest and open account of what University life was like for me. Please God I have achieved this and hopefully you, the readers, have found a little bit of help and guidance along the way.

As this is my last ever blog (I still can’t believe it!) I couldn’t leave without saying a few go raibh maith agats!

Firstly, I want to thank two very important people in my life, my Mum and Dad. Mum, for all the weekends you would do the washing of clothes, cooking of food and simply just being there for a catch up and chat. It never went unnoticed and was always something I looked forwarded to when heading back home. Dad, you never let a weekend go by without a hug to welcome me back. The car never ran out of petrol and the odd £20 you would give me before I left on a Sunday evening was more valuable than you’ll ever know! Thanks for everything you have done this last year and we’ll get to graduation yet.

To my brothers, Jonathan and Kealan and my sister Sian. You may not have got the thanks or mention in these blogs that you fully deserved (which was slagged about many’s a time!) but I’ll always be grateful for the chats, craic and catch up’s every weekend, it did mean a lot. To my Granny, the no.1 fan and the hero of the family! You were always first to buy the Irish News every month and when my blog wasn’t in it there would be an eternal outcry!! You’re someone that places everyone above yourself, and throughout it all, rely on your faith and prayer to guide you. Undoubtedly, I am who I am today because of your example and even now, I can turn to you for advice on anything from faith and career choices, to relationships and even football (you were always very honest when it came to this one!)

To all my friends, thanks for the craic, laughter and memories over these last 12 months. I’ve met some genuine, caring and super people since I started University and I can’t wait to kick start my 2nd year! To the Clogher don Óige youth group. In my last blog, you too will finally get the mention you’ve all been waiting for! Ever since I became involved with the group, way back in 2010, you have helped me grow, not just in faith but also as a person. You have provided me with the opportunities and friendships that have given me so much more than you’ll ever truly know. The endless craic, slagging and chats at every event, meeting and pilgrimage helps create memories that I’ll never forget.  Here’s to many more! A special word of thanks has to go to the chief Matthew McFadden. If it wasn’t for the opportunities, gentle guidance and confidence you placed in me then in truth I would never be writing these blogs.

To the Michaela Foundation family, led by the brilliant Úna, John and Anne, THANK YOU so much for everything you have done. From summer camps to fundraising events, tea parties to writing blogs it’s been one super, super year. I just can’t thank you all enough. Through a horrific tragedy has blossomed a foundation that has provided thousands upon thousands of young people with inspiration and happiness. Michaela’s legacy will always live on and I’m forever grateful to be apart of it.

To the SUPER scholars themselves you’re all truly inspiring people. Aoífe, Áoise, Eiméar, Fionnuala and Stephen, thank you for sharing your life at University. It’s not easy putting pen to paper but every month your blogs were filled with honesty, advice and hilarious moments that really helped me with my own journey through first year. You’re all simply an inspiration and I’ve no doubt our friendships will remain as we move forward in life.

To everyone starting off University this month- enjoy every single second of it, live every opportunity to the full and never forget who you are and the values you hold dear. To those thinking of applying for this year’s Student Awards Scheme- go for it! And for those that are chosen- you’re in for the time of your lives. My year as a scholar may have come to an end but it has left me with a journey that is just beginning.

On that note and for the very last time,

Good luck to everyone,


Cue the music –