Nineteen-yea-old student Róisín De Búrca (pictured) has had a busy year. One of the few people in Ireland with Down syndrome to have completed a full Leaving Certificate last summer, she then became part of an even smaller group by proceeding on to further education. On top of that, De Búrca recently won Bank of Scotland’s student of the year award. “I felt proud of myself, something I can accomplish in life, something that belongs to me alone instead of the family,” she says.
De Búrca has just finished a Fetac Level 5 course in Business Administration at Galway Technical Institute (GTI). She chose this course because: “I wanted to see how the business environment worked and wanted to see if it was the subject I wanted to get into.” As a native Irish speaker, she spent two weeks on work experience in the office of an Irish-speaking creche, based in Muintearas in Leitir Mór. “It was easier working there because everyone knew me there and I was able to communicate through Irish because it is an Irish-speaking organisation,” De Búrca explains.