THREE students from Dingle, Annascaul and Ballyferriter were honoured in Ionad an Bhlascaoid on Saturday morning as they were announced the 2012 recipients of 'Sparánacht an Bhlascaoid' (the Blasket Bursary).
The bursary was initiated in 2010 by Dr. Mícheál Ó Céarna, one of the last remaining islanders, in memory of his late wife Maureen (nee Ward), who passed away in the same year.
The aim of the bursary is to assist and encourage first year third-level students from the Corca Dhuibhne Gaeltacht to conduct further studies in Irish culture and language.
Dr Ó Céarna travelled from his home in Springfield, Massachusetts to make the presentations, which saw one student claim the first prize and two students share second place in the bursary allocations.
A bursary of €1,000 was awarded to Fiona Ní Ghairbhia, Log na gCapall, Abhainn na Scál, while joint second place was shared by Meghan Ní Laoithe, Baile Bhoithín, Baile an Fheirtéaraigh and Jamie Ó Flannúra, Cúilín, Daingean Uí Chúis who each received a bursary of €500.
The presentation was part of Ceiliúradh an Bhlascaoid, which was held over the weekend at Ionad an Bhlascaoid in Dún Chaoin.
The event was officially opened on Friday by RTÉ producer and author Cathal Póirtéir and the weekend included lectures on ' The Ventry Family of Burnham' by Joan Corkery, ' The Year of the Free Meal - Destitution and Relief ' by Seán Ó Dubháin, 'Landlords and Their Class in Ireland' by Cormac Ó Gráda and Niall Ó Ciosáin and ' The Highland Clearances' by Professor Emeritus Donald E. Meek from Scotland.
There was also a lively discussion on the theme 'Have we been sold out again to foreign powers?' on Sunday morning followed by the eagerly anticipated lecture on the Dingle Massacre of 1793 by retired Dingle school teacher Pat Nelligan.