New €50,000 Cooney Furlong bursary launched in St Mary’s CBS, Enniscorthy

(Back, from left) Ger Coleman (deputy principal), Walter Furlong, Tracey Murray, Wally Furlong, Laura Swanton and Ann Marie Breen with (front) Niamh Potter, Anne Reck, Martina McGrath, Brendan O'Sullivan (principal), Josie Foley and Anne Cleere at the St Mary's CBS bursary announcement.

Brendan KeaneGorey Guardian

A major new €50,000 bursary scheme has been launched in St Mary’s CBS secondary school in Enniscorthy.

The scheme will be in place over 10 years with €5,000 going towards a student each year who embarks on a third level course study with a view to forging a career in agriculture. The Cooney Furlong bursary was created in memory and honour of the late Philip Reck, who passed away on March 15, 2021. Mr Reck, who was a pioneer, innovator and recognised world authority within the agricultural science sector, was an extremely popular and important member of staff with Cooney Furlong. He was also a former student of St Mary’s CBS, which was noted by the school principal, Brendan O’Sullivan, at the launch.

"I was here a few years when Philip was here, many years ago,” said Mr O’Sullivan, who referenced Mr Reck’s mantra of ‘farmers educating farmers’.

"That’s what we want to do here as we launch this very generous bursary; that over the next 10 years or so, that we’ll give the next generation the opportunity to pursue a career in agriculture,” he said.

Walter Furlong Jnr also spoke at the launch and said Mr Reck was considered an educator: “We are dealing with people all over and everyone would say they’d often ring him to find out about things because he was just passionate about it and knowledgeable.”

"Whatever way we can support the next generation we are happy to do so,” he said.

Mr Reck’s mother, Anne, spoke and on behalf of herself, his partner, Martina, and his two brothers, Eamonn and Michael, said: “I would like to express our appreciation to the Furlong family for the recognition of Philip’s deep interest and research into conservation, soil health and regenerative farming in Ireland.”

"His legacy now will live on through the students who avail of this wonderful opportunity to further their interest in agricultural science,” she said, and thanked the CBS for administering the bursary.