Professor Paul McCutcheon, Vice President Academic and Registrar at UL; Liam Rice and the late Paddy Dooley
The 2008/2009 recipient of the Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship at UL, Liam Rice from Fermoy, Co Cork was formally awarded the scholarship which is worth €4000 over his four years of study. The Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship has been established through the generosity of the Dooley family. The family, who are from Limerick, decided to establish the scholarship in honour of their father, who captained the Irish Olympic eight, in the 1948 Olympic Games in London.
Liam was a student in St Colman's College, Fermoy, County Cork, and is now registered for the Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering, University of Limerick. In 2005, Liam came 3rd in the Men's Junior Quad in the Irish Championship. In 2006 he came 1st in the Men's Senior Scull in the Cork Head of River and in 2008 came 2nd in the Men's Senior Quad.
For this season, Liam's goal is to be selected for Ireland and make the Under 23 squad as well as competing in the London Metro and aiming for to win an Irish Championship. Next year Liam hopes to improve on his ranking in the Irish squad and would also to win some more Irish Championships with University of Limerick Rowing Club. After this Liam hopes to continue to represent Ireland at an international standard and his ultimate dream is to represent Ireland at an Olympic games.
Speaking from the award ceremony, UL Vice President Academic and Registrat, Professor Paul McCutcheon said that the Paddy Dooley Rowing Scholarship significantly raises the profile of rowing at the University and assists in attracting promising oarsmen and women to study here.
Since the 1948 Olympics Paddy Dooley has stayed involved in the sport, coaching at St Michaels and ultimately starting the Limerick Masters Rowing Association in 1993. He worked hard to raise the profile of the sport in Limerick and to extend its reach. He spearheaded the effort to bring a Limerick master's crew to compete in the Boston Head of the Charles regatta in 2003 and 2004. He lead an effort to raise €100,000, to make the Castleconnell boat club accessible to school children, and to pass on his love of the sport to successive generations. A finalist for "Limerick Person of the Year" in 2004, for his efforts on behalf of rowing in the city, Paddy Dooley still exudes passion for the sport.