JP McManus recently announced a further €32m investment in Third Level Education Scholarships for eligible students throughout Ireland, North and South.
2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the All Ireland Scholarships Programme, which was established in 2008 to provide 125 Third Level Education Scholarships annually throughout the 32 counties of Ireland.
Some 1,246 students will have benefitted from the initiative since its inception.
The All-Ireland Scholarships are administered by the Department of Education & Skills and the Department for the Economy with support from the Department of Education in Northern Ireland.
Cork schools performed particularly well in 2016, with 14 school leavers receiving as a scholarship award.
JP McManus originally contributed €32m in 2008 to the All Ireland Scholarships.
The additional investment announced today will extend the scheme for a further 10 years, benefiting in total over 2,400 students to the tune of €66.5m.
The scholarships are set at €6,750 per annum in Ireland and £5,500 in Northern Ireland and will continue for the duration of the undergraduate programmes chosen by the scholarship winners.
In announcing the continuation of the Programme for a further ten years JP Mc Manus said: "Barriers to participation in higher education for students can be complex and varied. Such barriers rob high achieving Leaving Certificate students the opportunity to access third level education.
"I hope that the decision of my wife Noreen and our family to fund a further ten year extension of the All Ireland Scholarships programme will help many students over the coming ten years to overcome those obstacles and build a better Ireland throughout the entire island.“
"We greatly appreciate the support we receive from the Department of Education & Skills and Department of Education in Northern Ireland, both of which, invest considerable time and effort into administering these awards."
He was joined by the Minister for Education & Skills, Richard Bruton and former All-Ireland Scholarship recipients to make the announcement in Adare, Co Limerick.
Minister for Education & Skills, Richard Bruton T.D. said: "Higher education is a central part of our plan as a Government to support a strong economy and deliver a fair society.
"Education has a unique capacity to break down the cycles of disadvantage.
"My goal is that every child will have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their circumstances."