Emily Gallagher works part-time as a model, and is on the books of 1st Option Models Management.

DCU award adds up to success for friends Emily and Lauren

Two past students of St Joseph’s in Rochfortbridge have been named as recipients of a €500 Academic Scholarship to study at Dublin City University.

A 19-year-old student from The Downs, Emily Gallagher, and Lauren Balfe from Rochfortbridge are among six students from Westmeath who are to receive the scholarships, which are awarded to students who achieved 550 points or more in the Leaving Certificate.

St Joseph’s principal Eileen Alford said this week that the school was very proud of the two students.

Emily Gallagher of The Downs, who is now studying Actuarial Mathematics at DCU.

Emily is now undertaking a BSc in Actuarial Mathematics, while Lauren is studying for a BSc in children’s and general nursing.

“Emily is an ‘all-rounder’, but she is particularly talented at maths, and her teachers would sing her praises,” said Mrs Alford. “She is also a talented artist and performed very well in Design and Communication Graphics.”

Emily and Lauren are good friends, and Lauren too was an all-rounder: “She was very popular with her classmates and worked hard and was very co-operative,” says Mrs Alford.

As well as studying full-time, Emily is also a part-time model, and is registered with 1st Option Models Management. The daughter of Martina and Michael Gallagher, Emily has two older sisters – 23-year old twins Kate and Sinéad, who are also both past-pupils of St Joseph’s.

Kate is now a primary teacher, and is teaching at Longwood NS, while Sinéad is pursuing a Master’s degree in animal science.

Lauren Balfe, who is now studying for a BSc in children's and general nursing.

Lauren is the younger of the two daughters of Eilish and Greg Balfe, who were thrilled when she was accepted to study nursing, which had been her dream. As of this week, Lauren is in on a practical stint at the Mater Hospital.

Away from the books, Lauren’s big love is GAA: both she and her sister Ava, a second year student at UL, were members of the St Mary’s Ladies team who have won the county final in the last two years – and in fact their father is the chairperson.

The other Westmeath students to receive DCU scholarships are Róisín Ennis from Moate Community School, who is doing a BSc Athletic Therapy and Training, and three past pupils of Athlone Community College, Aisling McGoldrick, who is studying International Business Studies; Caoimhe Galvin, who is doing a BSc Athletic Therapy and Training; and Colleen McManus, who is studying for a BSc in Science Education.

A total of €153,500 worth of scholarships were presented to 307 first year students at DCU this year. While a traditional presentation ceremony could not take place due to current restrictions, school principals will be presented with plaques to display in the schools marking the significant achievement of their past pupils.

Scholarships are awarded to students who gain the required number of points, meet the specific entry requirements and register to study with any of DCU’s five faculties: Engineering and Computing; Humanities and Social Sciences; Science and Health; DCU Business School; and the Institute of Education DCU.