‘A miracle’: Irish students’ parents to take home their son in a plane trip
Students from St Mary’s College Dublin have been awarded a €3 million scholarship from the European Union after their parents travelled from Ireland to join them on a plane to Italy.
The family travelled from the west coast of Ireland and spent four days at the airport in Rome.
“The family were in the air for three days, and then we were on the plane,” said the mother of one of the students, who was not identified.
The Irish Government announced the grant at a ceremony on Monday, in a ceremony attended by parents of students from the school.
The students were in Italy on a scholarship to study engineering.
The student’s father, who has been named as Martin, said he was “extremely excited” to be able to spend time with his son.
“I feel blessed and honoured to be getting this scholarship.
It’s a blessing,” he said.”
To get it as soon as I can, I think is fantastic.”
Martin said he had been in touch with the Department of Education and Research (DoER) and was happy to take part in the programme.
“It’s a very good thing.
It means that we can give my son a better chance of success in his studies,” he told the Irish Independent.”
My son has been looking forward to this for a long time and it’s very rewarding for him to be part of this.”
Mr Martin said he would like to use the money to send his son to university.
“He’s in a very tough spot, because he doesn’t know if he’s going to get into a top school or not.
He needs to find his own solution,” he added.”
We’ve tried to do everything we can for him, but there’s a lot more work to be done.”
The family’s trip to Italy came as a surprise to some parents who were not involved in the decision.
“As soon as we found out, our hearts sank,” said Anne O’Neill, who took her son to St Marys.
“She was really excited and she was just in tears, she was really happy.”
The award, which is in addition to a €1.5 million Irish Scholarship, was given to students from St Louis College Dublin.
The awards are made up of a total of €1 million from the EU, which was announced in May as part of the European Investment Bank (EIB) programme, and €1,000 each from the Irish and Italian governments.
It comes after Irish President Michael D Higgins said the EU could help the country in the fight against terrorism and “terrorism-related offences”.
The EU said it was grateful for the “extraordinary generosity” of the family.
“They have made an outstanding contribution to our efforts to help Irish students, parents and students abroad, and I’m pleased to announce the award for the family,” EU Commissioner for Education and Skills, Mr Timmermans, said in a statement.
“Evaluating the family’s work and the work of all EU countries and the EIB in general, it is clear that the EU has the potential to deliver tangible results for Ireland.”
Ireland is a successful country, which contributes more to the EU budget than any other member state.
“This award recognises the contribution of the EIBI in Ireland and the EU’s investment in our society.”
The EU is the largest donor to Irish universities.