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2017 Winner of Richard O’Carroll Empowerment Bursary Announced

Posted on November 15, 2017 at 12:18 PM

Congratulations to the 2017 winner of the Labour Party Richard O’Carroll Empowerment Bursary, Aaron Mills.

Despite the chill in the morning air, there was a very warm welcome for Labour Party representatives in the home of Aaron Mills in Clonshaugh Avenue, Coolock.

Grandparents, aunts, neighbours gathered around Aaron Mills, excited that he is the 2017 recipient of the Richard O’Carroll Empowerment Bursary, first awarded in 2016 as part of the Labour Party's centenary commemoration of the 1916 Rising.

Aaron who completed his Leaving Certificate at the top of his class in St. David’s Artane is now a first year science student in Trinity College Dublin. He attributes his love of science to the early introduction by his father Simon, of an electronic kit when he was a child. Blushing slightly as his mother Fiona recounted many stories of finding her mobile phone in the microwave and how the family have Aaron on speed dial when anything breaks, you can clearly see how proud they are of his academic achievements to date.

 Aaron Mills winner of the 2017 Richard O’Carroll Empowerment Bursary

Taking a little time away from his studies for the presentation, Aaron is still very focussed and his interest clearly lies in the area of Medical Physics. As everyone gathered in the backyard for a photo, even Quincy the dog was excited with all the activity.

Spokesperson on Education and Skills Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said, "It was important for us not just to commemorate the dead, but to empower the young people of today.  We are delighted to help Aaron through his college years in the name of Richard O'Carroll".

Also present were Brian McDowell General Secretary of the Labour Party, and local councillors Alison Gilliland and Brian McDonagh.

Bernie Griffiths and Dick O’Carroll, grandchildren of Richard O’Carroll have been involved with the Labour Party since the idea of the Bursary was first raised. On behalf of the family they said’ “The O'Carroll family is delighted and proud to see the Richard O' Carroll Empowerment Bursary continue and awarded to such a deserving student as Aaron and we wish him every success in his chosen course of study. 

In line with a proclamation that wasn't yet written, Richard O' Carroll was a man who cherished children and worked across a number of fronts to ensure childhood was protected, that marginalised children would have access to a home, decent standards of living and access to education.  In our grandfather's name we say to Aaron, you have chosen a path of study with potential to do great good. Hold on to the passion that motivated you thus far and in your future success, always remember your roots with pride and do some good.”

Later that day parents Fiona and Simon and aunt Liz accompanied Aaron for a visit to the Dáil and were delighted to have the opportunity to see a little behind the scenes of how the Labour Party works.

The Labour Party’s Richard O’Carroll Empowerment Bursary is named in memory of the leader of the Labour Group on Dublin Corporation who was killed in the 1916 Easter Rising, Councillor Richard O’Carroll. Aaron is a very worthy recipient, following in the footsteps of the 2016 winner, Eimear Mowlds from Drimnagh. The next cycle of applications will be opened in May 2018.

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