McCarthy Bursary Fundraising Campaign

Celebrating 20 years of the McCarthy Bursary and the impact it has made in promoting diversity and inclusion at the Bar

In setting up the Bursary in 2002, the McCarthy family intended to broaden the accessibility base and break down barriers to entry at the Bar in an initiative that can now be seen as a very early and vital initiative in promoting true diversity and inclusion. 

Contribute to its future  

King’s Inns and the McCarthy family are asking members, friends and the wider alumni community of King’s Inns, to contribute to the legacy of the McCarthy Bursary and guarantee its future.

From as little as €50.00, your donation will make it possible to carry on this unique memorial and to promote King’s Inns continuing commitment to equal access and social justice.

McCarthy Bursary donate

Online donations are accepted via Stripe from €50 to €10,000. Anything above this amount is accepted through EFT. Bank details are available at the bottom of this page. 

If you are a taxpayer in Ireland, King’s Inns can claim tax relief on donations above €250 made in a calendar year by individual donors (PAYE & Self Assessed, regardless of marginal tax rate). See details below.

About the Bursary 

The Niall and Barbara McCarthy Bursary was established by the McCarthy family and King’s Inns in memory of the late Mr. Justice McCarthy and his wife, Barbara, who died in a road traffic accident in 1992.

In 2002, on the tenth anniversary of the death of their parents, the adult McCarthy children created the McCarthy Bursary, making a generous contribution with further support provided by McCarthy friends, members of the Judiciary, the Bar, and friends of King’s Inns.


Picture of the late Mr. Justice McCarthy with his wife Barbara when he was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1982

At the time of the launch of the bursary, the Irish Times recalled the description of Niall McCarthy in the newspaper’s obituary as “a man whose concern for the oppressed constituted a golden thread through his rightly acclaimed judgments”. And it was said that “his special distinction was in presenting the law not as cold abstracted logic, but an instrument with real human consequences.” His wife, Barbara, was equally rich in intellect and passion for life. The couple were a dedicated team who enriched the lives of those around them.

King’s Inns and the McCarthy family have been committed to reflecting this idea in the award of the Bursary by selecting a recipient that has experienced some kind of challenge or disadvantage in their life and who would be able to use their insights and experiences in their practice as a barrister. 

What do McCarthy Scholars receive? 

The McCarthy Bursary aims to financially support one student who might not otherwise be able to take the degree of Barrister–at–Law course. The McCarthy Scholar is chosen from candidates who come from a background of difference and who are likely to have met and overcome some kind of physical, social or financial challenge.

“The McCarthy Bursary changed my life for the better………. It enabled me to get through those early difficult years at the Bar and I do not think I would have done so, had it not been for the generosity of the Bursary”. 

McCarthy Scholar

In addition, in selecting the Bursary recipient, King’s Inns and the McCarthy family have sought to identify an individual who is interested in developing a greater understanding of human rights law and its application. We strive to facilitate them doing so.  

The McCarthy Bursary consists of:

  • Full remission of fees (€12,560) for the degree of Barrister–at–Law course 
  • A grant to help the Scholar with their studies
  • An internship at the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg – usually taken in the summer following the award of the bursary
  • Grant to cover travel and subsistence costs while interning in Strasbourg

If you are a prospective student, learn more about the Bursary and how to apply here >

Bank Details

Bank Account Name: McCarthy Bursary Savings Account

Bank: Bank Of Ireland, College Green, Dublin

IBAN: IE83BOFI90001784278316

Tax Benefits

If you are a taxpayer in Ireland, King’s Inns can claim tax relief on donations of between €250 and €1m made in a calendar year by individual donors (PAYE & Self Assessed, regardless of marginal tax rate).

If you would like to participate in this Scheme, please download the CHY3 Form from Revenue below. The form, which only takes minutes to complete, should be returned to King’s Inns via email at or by post, addressed to the Under Treasurer, McCarthy Bursary. Once you sign it, the new enduring tax relief form will last for five years.

Download CHY3 form >

Depending on the level of tax you have paid in the year, King’s Inns can claim up to 31% tax relief so for example, a gift of €250 is worth €362 when we successfully claim the tax back from the Revenue. 

Companies can deduct their donations as an allowable expense. Please speak to your accountant.