Grants, Fellowships, Bursaries & Prizes

Page last updated: Friday, October 28, 2022

Throughout the year, King’s Inns offers a limited number of Fellowships, Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes to prospective and current students.

Grants

Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) – degree of Barrister–at–Law professional course

SUSI is Ireland’s single national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. Our degree of Barrister–at–Law professional course is eligible for postgraduate funding, view here. Only students sitting the full–time course can receive SUSI support.

The online application system for new and renewal grant applications for the academic year opens usually around April every year. Keep an eye on their website here: susi.ie

Applicants for SUSI grant must pay the fees in full before commencement of the course. This requirement is set by SUSI, not King’s Inns. Fee payment options are as follows:

  • payment in full €12,560 on acceptance of place on or before 14 September or
  • by two part payments – €6,280 on acceptance of place on or before 14 September and €6,280 on or before 1 December.

SUSI will only approve grant payments on proof of payment of fees. If SUSI approves the grant application, we will reimburse the grant amount when received by King’s Inns.

Fellowships and Scholarships

Maurice Gaffney Scholarship – Diploma in Legal Studies course

The Scholarship is named in honour of Maurice Gaffney SC (1916–2016). Holding a BA in Economics from UCD (1939) and H. Dip in Education (1943), Maurice was a teacher at Glenstal Abbey and at James’s Street, Dublin. He studied for the Bar at night and was admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law at King’s Inns in 1954. Maurice Gaffney was made Senior Counsel in 1970 and practised at the Bar of Ireland for 62 years until his death aged 100 years. He worked in criminal law, conveyancing and property, landlord and tenant and employment law and served as Chair of the Employment Appeals Tribunal. 

Scholarship aim and purpose:

Funded by King’s Inns, the Maurice Gaffney Scholarship assists students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds who wish to do the Diploma in Legal Studies course.

The Scholarship consists of:

  1. Remission of the fees payable in whole or part thereof in both year 1 and year 2 of the Diploma in Legal Studies course;
  2. It includes any repeat assessments on course up to the limit of attempts permitted under the Education Rules of King’s Inns (Edition of June 2021);
  3. Where a Gaffney Scholar chooses to undertake the Entrance Examination to the degree of Barrister–at–Law course, the fee or part thereof, for ONE attempt at that examination will also be remitted.

How to apply:

Applicants are required to: 

  1. complete a detailed application form
  2. submit a reflective piece (max. 750 words)
  3. supply the names of two referees whom King’s Inns may contact

Deadline for Applications: Applications are usually taken from May to June each year.

CLOSED

Denham Fellowship – degree of Barrister–at–Law professional course

The Denham Fellowship, named after Ms. Justice Susan Denham, former Chief Justice of Ireland, assists two aspiring barristers annually who come from socio–economically disadvantaged backgrounds to gain access to professional legal education at King’s Inns and professional practise at The Bar of Ireland (the Law Library).

The Fellowship, which is being run by The Bar of Ireland in association with King’s Inns, endeavours to encourage more diversity in the legal profession. Denham Fellows will be provided with financial, educational and professional support from point of entry to the degree of Barrister–at–Law programme here at King’s Inns all the way through their first four years of practise at the Law Library culminating in a five year programme and ultimately in what is going to be a successful and rewarding career at the Bar. 

The Denham Fellowship is a standalone programme, however it seeks to act as a follow on from the many and various well–established access routes to third level education, which are specifically targeted at students from socio–economic disadvantaged backgrounds, currently in operation across universities and other Higher Education Institutions in Ireland. With this in mind, the Fellowship seeks to complement existing access initiatives by bridging the gap between higher education and access to professional practice.

Each year The Bar of Ireland in association with King’s Inns, may award the Fellowship to aspiring barristers from disadvantaged socio–economic backgrounds that satisfy the requirements for admittance as a Student Member of King’s Inns but face exceptional hardship. The Denham Fellowship consists of:

  • Remission of fees to King’s Inns course leading to the degree of Barrister–at–Law, including the Entrance Examination Fee and any repeat assessments;
  • Waived Law Library fees for the first four years of practise at The Bar of Ireland, including the Entrance Fee;
  • An annual stipend of €6,000 for a period of 5 years (6 years for Modular part–time students), commencing at the start of the degree of Barrister–at–Law programme, to go towards accommodation and living expenses;
  • Three mentors to be assigned to each Denham Fellow for the duration of the fellowship; one from the judiciary; one senior member of The Bar of Ireland; one junior member of The Bar of Ireland;
  • Support in locating a Master for each year of devilling.

Full Fellowship details and application forms can be found on The Bar of Ireland website.

Deadline for Applications: 5 pm (Irish time) on Monday, January 9, 2023

Applications now open

Bursaries

Niall and Barbara McCarthy Bursary – degree of Barrister–at–Law professional course

Mr Justice Niall St John McCarthy (1925–92) and his wife Barbara McCarthy (nee Foley) died in a road traffic accident in 1992. Mr Justice McCarthy was educated at Clongowes Wood College and UCD, admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law at King’s Inns in 1946, made Senior Counsel in 1959, Chair of The bar of Ireland 1980–82, appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court 1982–92. In 2002, on the tenth anniversary of the death of their parents, the adult McCarthy children created the Niall and Barbara 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. 

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”. His wife, Barbara, was equally rich in intellect and passion for life. The couple were a true team who enriched the lives of those around them, especially their childrens’.” Mr Justice McCarthy’s obituary in The Independent (UK) stated that “His legal conclusions were invariably concise and delivered with an articulate certainty, sometimes passionate force. His special distinction was in presenting the law not as cold abstracted logic, but an instrument with real human consequences.”

Mr Justice McCarthy had a wide range of interests and served as the first Chair of the National Archives Advisory Council and as President of the Medico–Legal Society of Ireland.

Bursary aim and purpose:

The aim of the McCarthy Bursary is to support financially one student who might not otherwise be able to take the degree course. The purpose of the Bursary is to encourage their understanding of human rights law and its increasingly complex application in the courts and elsewhere. The McCarthy Scholar may have experienced some kind of life challenge or disadvantage giving them insight into the practice of law, and will have been accepted onto the degree of Barrister at Law course at King’s Inns. 

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

Deadline for ApplicationsApplications are usually taken from late July to September each year.

CLOSED

Awards – Diploma in Legal Studies

Highest achieving students on the Diploma in Legal Studies are awarded the following prizes each year:

Diploma in Legal Studies Prize – Highest overall grade leading to the award of the Diploma in Legal Studies

This prize was established in 1971 by the members of The Honorable Society of King’s Inns.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award. 

Antonia O’Callaghan Memorial Prize – Highest grade in Irish Constitutional Law on the Diploma in Legal Studies course

This prize originates from a gift in 1991 by colleagues at The Bar of Ireland in recognition of Antonia O’Callaghan BL and her contribution to the Diploma in Legal Studies course.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award.

Meliosa Dooge Memorial Prize – Highest grade in Family Law on the Diploma in Legal Studies course

This prize was established in 2002 by the members of The Honorable Society of King’s Inns in recognition of Meliosa Dooge BL, and her promotion of legal education and good practice with particular reference to family law.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award. 

Eamon Leahy Memorial Prize – Highest grade in Criminal Law on the Diploma in Legal Studies course

This prize originates from a gift in 2003 by colleagues at The Bar of Ireland in recognition of Eamon Leahy SC, and his contribution to the development and modernisation of the wider criminal justice system.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award.

Michael O’Connor Prize – Highest grade in Contract Law on the Diploma in Legal Studies course

This prize originates from a gift in 2009 by Michael O’Connor BL to recognise the student who takes first place in Contract Law in the Diploma in Legal Studies.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award.

Awards – Degree of Barrister–at–Law

Highest achieving students on the degree of Barrister–at–Law are awarded the following prizes each year:

Arthur Browne Memorial Prize – Highest overall grade in the Entrance Examination leading to the degree of Barrister–at–Law course

This prize originates from a gift in 2010 by John Wilde Crosbie BL, Extra Master Mariner, R Soc of Arts SM, in honour of Arthur Browne BL, a Bencher of King’s Inns who died in 1805 and was an acknowledged authority on admiralty law.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award.

John Brooke Memorial Prize – Highest overall grade leading to the Admission to the degree of Barrister–at–Law

This prize originates from a gift in 1877 by Mary, Margaret and Elizabeth Brooke, three sisters of the Rt. Hon. John Brooke QC, an esteemed Bencher of King’s Inns.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award. 

Society’s Exhibition Prize – Second–highest overall grade leading to the Admission to the degree of Barrister–at–Law

This prize originates from a gift in 1877 by Mary, Margaret and Elizabeth Brooke, three sisters of the Rt. Hon. John Brooke QC, an esteemed Bencher of King’s Inns.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award.

James Murnaghan Memorial Prize – Third–highest overall grade leading to the Admission to the degree of Barrister–at–Law

This prize originates from a gift in 1973 by Alice Murnaghan, the wife of James Murnaghan BL, to honour her husband’s long–standing interest in King’s Inns and its student members.

To this day, the Benchers of King’s Inns and its members continue to give this distinguished award.