The Society offers a limited number of Fellowships, Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes to students at King’s Inns.
Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) – degree of Barrister–at–Law course
SUSI is Ireland’s single national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. Our degree of Barrister–at–Law course is eligible for postgraduate funding, view here.
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
Fellowships and Scholarships
Denham Fellowship – degree of Barrister–at–Law
The Denham Fellowship, named after The Hon. Mrs Justice Susan Denham, former Chief Justice, aims to promote diversity in the legal profession. Mrs. Justice Susan Denham was educated at Alexandra College, Trinity College, Dublin, Law School of Columbia University, New York City (LL.M. 1972) and was admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law at King’s Inns in 1971 and made Senior Counsel in 1987. She was appointed to the High Court in 1991 and was the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court in 1992 and Chief Justice in 2011. Mrs. Justice Susan Denham served as Chair of the Working Group on a Court Commission that led to the establishment of the Court Service at which she was a member and Chairperson of the board. She served as Chair of the Working Group on the Court of Appeal that led to the establishment of the Court of Appeal.
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 repeat assessments;
- Waived Law Library Fees for the first four years of practice at The Bar of Ireland, including the Entrance Fee;
- An annual stipend of €6,000 for a period of 5 years (6 years for 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 the application forms can be viewed on The Bar of Ireland website.
Deadline for Applications: Applications open September to November each year.
Maurice Gaffney Scholarship – Diploma in Legal Studies remission of fees
The Fellowship 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 Gaffney was a teacher at Glenstal Abbey and at James’s Street, Dublin, who studied for the Bar at night being 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 Chairman of the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The Maurice Gaffney Fellowship provides that the Education Committee of King’s Inns may remit course fees payable by students who face exceptional hardship and wish to attend the course leading to the Diploma in Legal Studies.
Deadline for Applications: Applications open March to May each year.
Niall and Barbara McCarthy Bursary – degree of Barrister–at–Law course and Strasbourg Internship
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, Chairman Irish Bar Council 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 Chairman 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; its purpose 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 the King’s Inns. The McCarthy Bursary consists of
- Full remission of fees to King’s Inns course leading to the degree of Barrister–at–Law
- Limited maintenance grant
- A six week internship at the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg (taken in the summer following the degree course)
- Grant to cover travel and maintenance costs in Strasbourg.
Deadline for Applications: Applications open June to August each year.
Awards to Highest Achieving Students
John Brooke Scholarship – Highest Overall Mark in the Examination leading to Admittance to the degree of Barrister–at–Law
This prize originates from a gift by Mary, Margaret and Elizabeth Brooke, three sisters of the Rt. Hon. John Brooke QC, an esteemed Bencher, who died in 1877. The sisters directed the Lord Chancellor “to place at the disposal of the Benchers, for the purpose of funding a scholarship or scholarships for students the sum of £4000”. The Benchers accepted this gift on 1 June 1878 and expressed gratitude to “the Misses Brookes for their munificent donation of £4000 for the purposes of legal education, which sum the Benchers will appropriate according to the suggestion of the donors so as to ensure a permanent memorial of their lamented brother the late John Brooke”.
The Honorable Society of King’s Inns Exhibition Prize – Second Highest Overall Mark in the Examination Leading to Admittance to the degree of Barrister–at–Law
The Society’s Exhibition Prize replaced a scholarship that had been provided out of the John Brooke endowment and the conditions for its award are the same as those for the John Brooke Scholarship.
James Murnaghan Memorial Prize – Third Highest Overall Mark in the degree of Barrister–at–Law
James Augustine Murnaghan (1881–1973) attended UCD and held the degrees of BA and LLD from the Royal University of Ireland. He attended King’s Inns and was admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law in 1903 and was awarded the John Brooke Scholarship. He was Professor of Jurisprudence and Roman Law (1911–24) at UCD Law School where he also taught international law. Appointed as a Judge of the High Court in 1924, a year later he was appointed to the Supreme Court, on which he served for 28 years. In 1973 Alice, his wife, established the James Murnaghan Memorial Prize reflecting his long–standing interest in King’s Inns and the student members.
Diploma in Legal Studies Prize – Overall highest aggregate diploma mark
Antonia O’Callaghan Memorial Prize – Highest grade in Irish Constitutional Law, Diploma in Legal Studies
Antonia O’Callaghan (1943–1990), originally from Cork, was a school teacher before studying law and being admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law in 1977 and was awarded the John Brooke Scholarship. She had a passionate belief in the value of education and encouraged people to achieve their potential through study. In 1982, King’s Inns established the Diploma in Legal Studies course. As well as practising at the Bar, Antonio O’Callaghan taught Constitutional Law and Family Law on the course from 1985 to 1990. In 1991 Law Library colleagues established the Antonio O’Callaghan Memorial Prize in recognition of her contribution to the Diploma in Legal Studies course and to the teaching of Constitution Law and her encouragement of students.
Meliosa Dooge Prize – Highest grade in Family Law, Diploma in Legal Studies
Meliosa Dooge (1958–2000) was a pioneering and distinguished family law barrister at a time when family law practice in Ireland was in a nascent stage. Educated at Loreto Dalkey and UCD, she was admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law at King’s Inns in 1979. The Meliosa Dooge Memorial Prize was established in her honour in October 2002. The purposes of the trust fund are the promotion of legal education and good practice with particular reference to family law.
Eamon Leahy Memorial Prize – Highest grade in Criminal Law, Diploma in Legal Studies
Eamon Leahy SC (1957–2003) was admitted to the degree of Barrister–at Law at King’s Inns and called to the Bar in 1979 and made Senior Counsel in 1997. He served as Chairman of the Legal Aid Board, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal, the Release of Prisoners Commission, and chairman of the Expert Group appointed to consider changes in the criminal law arising out of the Report of the Steering Group into the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Garda Síochána. Eamon Leahy was known for advocacy skills in representing the State or individuals in criminal cases and contributed to the development and modernisation of the wider criminal justice system. The Eamon Leahy Memorial Prize was established in his memory by colleagues in the Law Library.
Michael O’Connor Prize – Highest grade in Contract Law, Diploma in Legal Studies
Mr Michael O’Connor attended UCD and holds the degree of B. Arch. from the National University of Ireland was admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law at King’s Inns and called to the Bar 1956. In 2009 he sponsored a prize to be awarded to the student who takes first place in Contract Law in the Diploma in Legal Studies.
Chief Justice Timothy Sullivan Prize – Highest grade in Evidence in the Diploma in Legal Studies
Timothy Sullivan (1874–1949) was admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law at King’s Inns and called to the Bar in 1895, was made KC in 1918, and a Bencher of King’s Inns in 1921. He was appointed first President of the High Court in 1924 and Chief Justice of the Irish Free State 1936–1946. In 2008, Dr Timothy Healy (retired pathologist and lecturer UCD) sponsored a prize in honour of his grand uncle Timothy Sullivan.
Arthur Browne Prize – Highest grade in the Entrance Examination to the course leading to the degree of Barrister–at–Law
In 2010, Mr John Wilde Crosbie, Extra Master Mariner, R Soc of Arts SM, admitted to the degree of Barrister–at–Law at King’s Inns (1985), sponsored a prize to be titled in honour of Arthur Browne (1756–1805). Arthur Browne was born in the USA of Irish extraction. On the death of his parents he received assistance from his father’s church and his mother’s legacy to be educated at Trinity College, University of Dublin, the alma mater of his father and grandfather. There he gained the degrees of BA, MA, LLB and LLD. In 1785 Arthur Browne was appointed Regius Professor of Civil and Canon Law and was also at times Professor of Greek. In 1795 Arthur Browne was made senior fellow of Trinity College, and was member for Dublin University in the Irish House of Commons 1783–1800. The School of Law, Trinity College has inaugurated an annual series of public lectures in his honour and memory. Arthur Browne studied at Lincoln’s Inn and was called to the Bar of Ireland in 1779. He argued in the ecclesiastical and civilian courts, practised as a barrister in the common law courts, and was made KC in 1795 and a bencher of King’s Inns in 1803. Arthur Browne was the author of publications including A compendious view of the civil law and of the law of the admiralty: being the substance of a course of lectures read in the University of Dublin first published in 1797. This work was issued in later years with additions, including an issue with additions in the USA in 1848. Arthur Browne was an acknowledged authority on admiralty law and his works were referenced in common law jurisdictions, including England and Wales. The United States Supreme Court cited Brown in over 40 judgments and through his work Brown has a claim on being the father of American Admiralty Law.