Gerard Byrne Bursary

NCBI is keen to remedy the low levels of students who are blind or vision impaired attending third-level education by offering financial support through the Gerard Byrne Bursary.

celebrations of Gerard Byrne Bursary 2020 awardees


NCBI Gerard Byrne Bursary honours the contributions of Gerard Byrne, who was a lifelong advocate for education. Gerard sadly passed away in 2017 having worked with NCBI in a management capacity since 2003.

Photo of leo varadkar, the Senator Martin conway & two studentsThe Gerard Byrne Bursary consists of two annual grants for two undergraduate students who are blind or vision impaired with a certified diagnosis from a registered eye health care professional and are studying on a full-time basis at a recognised educational institution in the Republic of Ireland.

This programme aims to support students in third level to gain comprehensive education, and in turn, supporting the important transition to meaningful employment. The annual bursary is awarded at €1,500 per year across the remainder of the student’s full time degree.

Closing date for the 2022/2023 academic year is 12th August 2022.

For more information on the Bursary, email

Download a copy of Information and Awarding Criteria.

Download a copy of the Award information and criteria PDF

To apply please click on the button below and fill the form

Gerard Byrne Bursary application form

Megan Callaghan

Megan Callaghan was awarded the bursary in 2021

My name is Megan Callaghan and I was lucky enough to be one of the two winners of the 2021 NCBI Gerard Byrne Bursary.
I am studying to be a Home Economics and Gaeilge teacher in the fabulous, St. Angela’s College, Sligo.  I am now in third year of my course and loving it!

Education in general with a visual impairment is difficult and every day presents a new challenge, VI  only make up roughly 1.8% of all students in Ireland. People are under the illusion that sitting near the board will cure all our problems whereas this is absolutely not the case.  However, it is thanks to the NCBI that I did receive the supports I needed in school and college and I could not have gotten this far without them.

To anyone remotely considering applying for this bursary I would say go for it, you have to be in it to win it.  Thanks to the bursary I have had the pleasure of meeting our fantastic Minister for Further and Higher Education, Mr. Simon Harris and was interviewed and appeared on Nuacht TG4. It was utterly surreal to be interviewed on my farm, talking about how I have overcome challenges in education and otherwise with regards to my visual impairment, ar fad trí mo theanga náisiúnta agus dúchais, Gaeilge, bhí mé an-bhródúil.