Minister Dermot Ahern Announces Michael McIlveen Scholarships
The Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern TD today announced a grant of €80,000 towards the establishment of a scholarship in memory of murdered Ballymena schoolboy Michael McIlveen, who died in May 2006.
The Minister made the announcement at St Patrick’s College, Ballymena, the school which Michael attended. Pupils and teachers from eight schools in the area attended the scholarship launch.
Minister Ahern said: “I am pleased to announce funding for the Michael McIlveen scholarship. This money will award a grant to a student from each of the participating schools for their involvement in a reconciliation project. The programme will run for the next 5 years.
“Ballymena Learning Together is an excellent example of an organisation which is engaging in serious efforts to help Northern Ireland move away from division and sectarianism. The organisation was established following Michael’s tragic death. The schools in Ballymena saw the need to take direct and immediate action against the scourge of sectarianism that continues to affect the lives of young people from the locality. Since that time, the schools have together developed projects that build trust and understanding among the young students, and allow them to build relationships and celebrate their diversity.
“The work of Ballymena Learning Together demonstrates the initiative being shown by individuals and organisations in Northern Ireland to build a better future for everyone. They act as an inspiration to us all.”
21st November 2007