Bursary honours union pioneer Mary Maher

  • 14 Nov 2022

The legacy of pioneering NUJ member of honour Mary Maher was recalled at a ceremony in Dublin today when the first Mary Maher Bursary was inaugurated by The Irish Times.

Dublin City University student Katie Mellett, 19, was named as the recipient of the first bursary. The Irish Times will pay her fees and contribute to accommodation costs for the BA in journalism course. She will get paid placement during college holidays each year and on successful completion of the course will be offered a fixed-term contract by the Irish Times group.

A senior Irish Times journalist will act as a mentor for the duration of her studies.

Deirdre Veldon, who chaired the interview panel, recalled Mary’s fight for equal pay and her strong solidarity with younger journalists. In the early years of online journalism reporters working at the newspaper were paid less than print colleagues. It was, Deirdre recalled, Mary Maher who took up the cudgels on their behalf.

Seamus Dooley, assistant general secretary thanked the Irish Times for inaugurating a bursary which would have delighted Mary, saying she would be very pleased to see a young woman of obvious talent and curiosity being mentored and supported by a scheme in her name. He thanked Deirdre Veldon and Claire Considine, group head of HR, for their work in inaugurating the project.

Commenting on the bursary, Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary NUJ, said:

“This is a fitting way to honour Mary Maher. We in the NUJ are pleased to be associated with the bursary. It was appropriate that the Irish Times editorial committee should be involved in the interview process. I am pleased that Katie will be attending our upcoming student event in Dublin and to offer her student membership of the union on foot of her award.”

Donegal teenager awarded first Irish Times Mary Maher Bursary

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