A young journalism student from Achill, who was going to forfeit a scholarship to complete a PhD in DCU as it would come at the expense of her disability allowance and associated travel and medical card allowances, is set to be able to accept the offer.
Catherine Gallagher is a 23-year-old disabled student and she told Midwest News earlier this week that she is not alone, as the present system works against disabled students successfully taking up scholarships to pursue postgraduate studies.
Her situation was raised in the Dail on Thursday by Mayo Deputy Rose Conway Walsh, the Sinn Fein Spokesperson for Higher Education, who called on the government to end the unfair practice of removing disabilities supports from students who are awarded postgraduate scholarships.
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys took to social media yesterday saying that she spoke to Catherine on Thursday morning, when this was first brought to her attention.
The Minister added that she was glad to ring Catherine back last night to confirm she will be signing regulations to fix this situation, so that the Mayo student can continue with her scholarship and keep her Disability Payment.
Reacting to the news Catherine Gallagher said that she welcomes this commitment from the Minister, after what has been a very difficult time that she has shared publicly.
She added that his could be so huge for so many other students with a disability.