'Build a better Ireland' - JP McManus spends €32m on scholarships for low income students
THE billionaire businessman and racehorse owner JP McManus is to fund scholarships worth €32m for more than 1,000 third-level students from less well-off backgrounds
Mr McManus (66) established the all Ireland Scholarships worth €32m in 2008, and today he will announce he will increase that funding by an extra €32m for the next ten years.
It means the Limerickman - has contributed €66.5m to third level education, the largest sum by any individual in the history of the state - €64m was allocated to the All Ireland Scholarships and the extra €2.5m was given to the CBS sexton Street Scholarships.
He said that he hopes the scholarships will help people from less well-off families to reach their full potential.
He said: "Such barriers rob high-achieving Leaving Cert students of the opportunity to access third level education.
"I hope that the decision of my wife Noreen and our family, to fund a further ten year extension of the all-Ireland scholarships programme will help many students over the coming ten years to overcome those obstacles and build a better Ireland throughout the entire island."
The scholarship programme will be open to 125 high-achieving students from low-income families each year in the North and the Republic.
The value of each scholarship is set at €6,750 per year and continues for the duration of the undergraduate programmes. Eligible students in the Republic must be in receipt of medical cards
To date more than 500 scholarship winners have graduated.