A YOUNG trainee teacher who died in his sleep just days after handing in his final project will get his degree posthumously.
Daniel Conroy (23) from Cill Chiarain, Co Galway, died on April 19 last – just two days after handing in his final year project. He was due to complete his course at the University of Limerick a week later.
Daniel had called his mother, Margaret Ann, to tell her he would be home the following day. Instead, his family got the news that he had died in his sleep at his apartment.
His mother said the death of her eldest son had left her broken-hearted. However, she added that she took some comfort from knowing that Daniel would be conferred a teacher allowing him to fulfil his dream.
"It was what he always wanted to do and I'm glad he reached his goal. He loved it very much," she said, "We got the word when we went to Limerick to bring him home."
The conferring ceremony for Daniel's classmates will take place in August and his family will attend to receive Daniel's degree posthumously.
"We are hoping to all travel down. We saw many of his classmates at his funeral. He was my eldest son and it's very hard. I don't know how I'm coping, I believe I am getting some help from Daniel which keeps me going," she said.
Daniel is survived by his mother Margaret Ann, her partner Kieran, his brother Kevin (22) and sister Patricia (18). His father died in a road traffic accident when Daniel was a child.
The family now treasure the Galway hooker sailing boat which Daniel completed for his final project. The intricate design had taken him three months to complete and was the first time detailed drawings were made of the traditional Galway design.
"He presented it just days before he died. He had worked so hard on it and it meant a lot to him," added Margaret Ann.
A spokesperson for the University of Limerick said it could not comment on individual cases.
However, a number of posthumous degrees have been awarded at the university over the last number of years.