competition details here

Congratulations to Our Winners

O'Brien Scholarship 2018 Winner:  Lindsey Nolan, Mahwah High School, New Jersey.

Flaherty Scholarship 2018 Winner:  Brenna Waldinger, Bishop Fenwick High School, Boston.


Well done to everyone that entered, we had lots of amazing entries!!

enter scholarhsip competition win place on high school summer programme


Essay Competition for The O’Brien Scholarship 2018.

Deadline for Entries: Tuesday April 18th 2018

Essay Title: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”. Using the inspiring words of J.F.K., write an essay, giving your personal response to this title.


We are delighted to present the 2018 O’Brien Scholarship. The scholarship is dedicated to the memory of the O’Brien family of Galway and Roscommon, Ireland, and we are extremely grateful to their extended family in Chicago, Michael and Marlene Gaffney, who have so generously sponsored this award.

The O’Brien Scholarship presents high school students with an opportunity to display their ideas, beliefs and of course their writing skills. The winner of this year’s scholarship will be awarded a free place on our summer program.

Speaking to the assembled crowds on his visit to Galway, June 29th 1963, President John F. Kennedy emphasised the connection between the West of Ireland and the United States of America. He was made a Freeman of Galway and given the Freedom of the City.

Recognised as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents, he deeply impacted the United States and the world. The descendant of Irish emigrants, his homecoming to Ireland in 1963 generated a huge outpouring of warmth and welcome throughout Ireland. This wonderful welcome to U.S. citizens and great bond between our two countries is stronger now than ever. Galway’s beautiful city centre park in Eyre Square is named John F. Kennedy Memorial Park in honour of the late President. This is also where the Celtic Irish American Academy began and it is why we have chosen his words for the title of our essay for the O’Brien Scholarship.

Rules of Competition

  • All submissions must be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by April 10th 2018.
  • You must be a High School student to enter.
  • Only one entry per student and the maximum number of words is 1000.
  • All entries must be student’s original work.
  • CIAA reserves the right to disqualify an entry if we suspect plagiarism.
  • Each entry must have a school sponsor.
  • The sponsor can be your school principal, guidance counsellor or a subject teacher.
  • This person’s contact details must be included with your entry.
  • You must include the following details on the cover page of your essay: name, school, age, class year and other relevant information.
  • You need to have parental consent to travel should you be a winner.
  • The scholarship and the other awards are not transferable. The winners can only use the awards as credit towards their place on our 2018 program.
  • Air fares are not included.
  • Winners will be notified by email and must confirm to us that they will be in a position to accept their award, within 48 hours.
  • A shortlisting of entries will be held by the judges of the competition.
  • Winners will have to complete a CIAA program application form.
  • CIAA reserves the right to reproduce submissions to be used for contest promotion.
  • The decisions of the CIAA judges are final.

open / download the competition details here

competition details here
Celtic Irish American Academy
Directors: Dr. Johanna Clancy and Mr. Brian Fahy
Cranmore, 13 Dr. Mannix Road,
Salthill, Galway, Ireland
Tel: +353 86 013 5832