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 'It’s Like the Lotto': Kilkenny Student Wins CU Scholarship

Education 2 min read

18 Sep 2020

In 2018, Ronan Buckley, a 21-year-old hurler from Kilkenny, won the Teacher’s Union of Ireland scholarship – a total of €3,000 toward his studies.

Many credit unions like TUI, as well as offering low cost student loans, choose to further support struggling students by offering funds in the form of educational bursaries or grantsThe amounts and types of sponsorships differ in each credit union, but all stand for one purpose – supporting students in achieving their academic goals.

Below, Ronan tells us how scholarship supported him on his journey to becoming a teacher. If you're a student and are worried about fee payments or other financial strains, talk to your local credit union today about how they can help.

Like the Lotto

In the third year of his course, Ronan received a call from Valerie Donnelly from the Teachers' Union of Ireland, to let him know he had won the TUI scholarship – and a lifeline of financial support which would see him through the next year of college and beyond.

‘I really couldn’t believe it… It’s just one of those things - you think you’ll never get picked. But you never know; it’s like the lotto, it could be you! Students need to have financial support. The scholarship award can keep you focused on your grades.’

Ronan’s aspiration is to become a primary school teacher, but when he fell shy of the points, he took plan B – an Arts degree in the University of Limerick - which he said is working out really well.

 ‘I’m going into fourth year now and I’m majoring in sociology and geography. It is a four-year course with one semester in 2nd year on placement and one semester in 3rd year on Erasmus.’

Financial support when you need it

Buckley says the money helped him at a time when he needed it most: ‘The award proved very important for me while on Erasmus in Spain, where that extra bit on money does come in handy, where you are on your own in a new environment, you never know when you might have to spend money on travel expenses.’

‘I would recommend students apply for the scholarship award because you never know you might win; if you are considering, just go for it, and you could end up like me saying, thank god I went for it. If you are one of the lucky ones to win, be sensible with it, don't squander it, use the money when necessary, and have plenty left over once your college days are over.’


If you’re a student worried about how you’ll pay for college fees, accommodation, travel costs, check with  your local credit union. All credit unions also offer low cost-cost education loans. Contact your local credit union to find out more.  

With over 6,000 members, TUI is the the first Teacher's Credit Union in Ireland. Visit their website here.