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Undergraduate Award Winner



Eiméar Donaghy, recent graduate from St Mary's University College and Global Undergraduate Awards (UA) All-Ireland winner



Eiméar Donaghy, who graduated from St Mary’s University College in July 2019 with a BEd Honours degree in Education and English, has been awarded the Global Undergraduate Awards (UA) All-Ireland winner for the best essay based on her research in the field of Education.

Eiméar, who is currently a Year Two primary teacher in St Mary and St Michael Primary School in Stepney, London, said, “It’s just an amazing feeling to have won this award – really overwhelming.  I have to thank those in St Mary’s who encouraged and guided me throughout my time there.”

The Executive Director of the Global Undergraduate Awards, Dr Garret Maher, explained, “All submissions to the Global Undergraduate Awards are judged anonymously by an international academic panel of 400+ expert judges from some of the world’s leading academic institutions. UA’s stringent judging process is guided by our independent academic advisory board and our strict submission criteria. This year, UA received a total of 3,437 submissions and Eiméar Donaghy has been recognised as being one of this year’s top entrants.  Her work has been judged alongside that of her peers and stands among the highest quality work across the seven UA regions.”

The Global Undergraduate Awards began in 2008.  Under the patronage of the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, UA identifies leading creative thinkers and problem-solvers through their undergraduate coursework. Cited as the ultimate champion of high potential undergraduates, UA provides top performing students with the support, network, and opportunities they require to raise their profiles and further their career paths.

Eiméar’s essay, entitled “Invisible Children: Educational and Institutional Challenges for the Primary-aged Roma Children of a Case Study Town”, went beyond looking at just the educational challenges that newcomer children face within the classroom and explored broader challenges in their lives, both cultural and institutional, which can have an enormous impact on their chances of academic success.

Professor Peter Finn, Principal of St Mary’s University College commented, “Eimear Donaghy has achieved something truly special here.  Her work shows exactly the kind of critical analysis that St Mary’s encourages in all our students.  Her research project on the educational experiences of Roma children in Northern Ireland attempts to push back boundaries and prompts us to think well beyond the walls of the school.  In doing so, Eiméar is continuing a fine tradition in St Mary’s of students who have been named the All-Ireland winner of the Education Award.  I extend my heartfelt congratulations on this outstanding achievement.”

Eiméar is the latest in a significant line of impressive St Mary’s students to win this prestigious award:

2013: Catherine Fitzpatrick 
Multiculturalism and the Inclusion of Newcomer Children in Schools in Northern Ireland

2014: Megan Turner
Mind and Memory, Understanding and Delight: Literature and Memory in Education

2017: Breda O’Kane
Grammar Wars:  A Critical Survey of Recent Research on the Teaching of Grammar in Schools and its Impact on the Quality of Students’ Written Communication.

2018: Christina Sturgeon
Teachers are interested and pupils are equipped…so what is holding us back? — Smartphones in Pedagogical Literature and Post-Primary Practice.