20 Aug 2022

Carlow woman - who worked three jobs to put herself through college - wins scholarship at DCU

Rugby legend Jamie Heaslip broke the news to her while she was on a J1 in Vancouver, Canada

Carlow Carlow Carlow

Toni Ann Byrne with an award her college's dance society won for best society

A young Carlow woman - who worked three jobs at the same time to put herself through college - has won a scholarship for her Masters in Business Management at Dublin City University. 

Toni Ann Byrne from Old Leighlin was told that she'd been successful while she was on a J1 in Vancouver and it was none other than rugby legend Jamie Heaslip - the face of UrbanVolt's DCU scholarship programme - who broke the news. 

The 22-year-old applied for the scholarship while on her J1 and received the news at 6am because of the time difference. 

Speaking to Carlow Live, she said: "They told me I had been shortlisted and were ringing me again. I thought it was for another interview. Because of the time difference, I had to get up at 5.30am in the morning. 

"I answered the phone and I knew straight away it was Jamie Heaslip and what was going on. I was so overwhelmed, I could not stop crying. I was so happy. I was trying to be nice and say thanks but I could not stop crying."

A graduate in analytical science at DCU, Toni Ann starts her Masters later this month.

"I like organising things and working with people. I chose that because I would love to get into marketing or HR in a pharmaceutical company," she said.

Toni Ann is a daughter of Michelle, older sister to James and granddaughter of James and Ann Barry. 

She is also a past pupil of Presentation de la Salle Bagenalstown. 

During her undergraduate course, she worked as a restaurant waitress, nightclub hostess and in promotions all at the same time. 

"I'd be in college 9 to 5 and I'd work Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday. I'd work all weekend and sometimes on Sunday night as well," she added. 

Toni Ann achieved a 2.1 honours in her degree and said: "Education is important to me. I am really driven about it to do well. To get that scholarship is such a help. It shows if you work hard and do extra curricular things, it will pay off."

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.