Ds Scholarship

Derry college’s new scholarship in memory of former teacher

Students in the north-west now have a new scholarship opportunity.

North West Regional College, together with the family of the late Eileen Cairns (nee McCullagh), has launched the student scholarship in her memory

Eileen, who lived outside Sion Mills and lectured in IT and Business Studies at NWRC, spent more than 30 years of her teaching career at the college and sadly passed away on July 25, 2020.

She was an immensely respected and popular educator having spent more than three decades teaching within Strand Road and Strabane NWRC campuses.

Her death led to many tributes from the former students who wrote in retrospect to describe Eileen, who had Parkinson’s disease, both as “a wonderful teacher and friend”.

One former student said: “Eileen was a beautiful lady, inside and out. She always had a huge smile on her face, we enjoyed the craic together and her students’ results were second to none. She was definitely one in a million.”

Eileen was married to Noel and had three sons – Gavyn, Ryan, and David. Eileen was also a beloved grandmother to James, Rachel, and Ella.



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Eileen’s sons visited North West Regional College recently to officially launch The Eileen Cairns Scholarship, which along with a specially engraved trophy, will carry an annual financial support compliment for the recipient to purchase technology or educational resources.

Eileen’s family said: “When mum passed away, we were really touched by the many comments and tributes from her former students. She just had a special way when it came to communicating with students.

“Mum could always see the potential in people, and she loved to see her students achieve success after college. When you applied yourself and put in the work, you were good in her books.”

The family added following Eileen’s death, they came together with NWRC and decided on the annual Scholarship Fund which will reward endeavor and accomplishment.

They said: “We hope that our mother would be delighted that she is continuing to inspire young people after her death.”

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