The 13th annual Aisling Bursaries were launched this week. The Aisling Bursaries is an initiative which is delivered by the West Belfast Partnership Board in conjunction with the Belfast Media Group.

The breakfast launch, which was sponsored and hosted by Fáilte Restaurant, was held on Monday at the popular Falls Road restaurant. In attendance at the launch were Environment Minister Alex Attwood, Councillor Jim McVeigh and a number of Bursary sponsors.

Since the Aisling Bursaries began in 2000, over £400,000 has been donated to 476 students.

This year’s bursaries will be presented in the autumn.

Speaking at the launch, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, the Managing Director of the Belfast Media Group, said:  “The real job ahead for us is to make sure that young people continue to choose education. There so many pressures on people not to pursue education because of the costs involved and we are trying to spotlight the role of education as the key to unlock potential in the years ahead.”

Also speaking at the event, CEO of the West Belfast Partnership Board Geraldine McAteer said it was going to be a tough year for business and a tough year in terms of raising the bursaries.

“There is a lot of talk of austerity, but we tend to focus on stimulus,” she said.

Environment Minister Alex Attwood said that the Aisling Bursaries had made a big difference to the lives of local students.

Aisling Bursary application packs are available by calling into the West Belfast Partnership Board offices at 218-226 Falls Road or by downloading a form from For further information, contact Janice McHenry or Stephanie Vallely on 02890 809 202.