A LOCAL student was recently awarded with an academic scholarship by University College Dublin (UCD) for his hard work.
Redmond Scales was awarded the Iseult Honohan PhD Scholarship by the Department of Politics and International Relations in UCD based on his PhD proposal and record.
The scholarship will provide him with funding and support from the department over the four years of his PhD.
Speaking on his success, he said: “To be honest, I never thought I would be the recipient of such a scholarship; I am extremely grateful for such an award”.
Although he has a huge interest in studying politics, Redmond made it clear that he would not be currently pursuing a career in politics.
“Party politics is exceptionally messy and can become dysfunctional at times. Therefore, academia allows me to step back and assess the mechanics of politics in terms of policy at a national and international level from an unbiased and rational viewpoint. I have thought about running for office. However, that’s a question to be answered at a later date or in the words of Sir Humphrey Appleby “At the appropriate juncture, in the fullness of time”.
Speaking on his own political inspirations, he said: ” A man who I have admired for a long time which is no longer involved in politics is Desmond O Malley who was appointed the position of Minister for Justice at the age of 31 who has been described as “the best Taoiseach that Ireland never had” fought tirelessly in the 1970s, 80s and 90s against the scandal and corruption which seemed to plague the Fianna Fáil party at the time. I often say that he was a man of the principal before politics, which lead him to break away from Fianna Fáil and set up the Progressive Democrats.
“Of course, I have to mention Michael D. Higgins, who unlike US President Trump across the pond, has graced the office of president with class and distinction,” he added.
He stressed that one does not have to study political science to become a politician or to understand politics: “Anyone can run for office; it’s not always about experience. If one wished to run for office, the first and foremost question they must ask is ‘how can I best represent my constituents?’ As a public representative, your number one priority is the people you represent!”
The scholarship that Mr. Scales received is named after a former PhD student and colleague at UCD, Dr Iseult Honohan, who retired from teaching in 2015 after over 25 years of service to the School, University and wider academic community. Further details about the scholarship can be found at www.ucd.ie/spire.