Lesson learned after ‘act of bravado’ costs student much-needed cheque ahead of college

St Vincent de Paul logo

By Anne Lucey

A student’s “act of bravado” cost him the cheque he received from St Vincent de Paul to secure his college place.

Speaking at a conference of a St Vincent de Paul education committee in Kerry, the unnamed man said he needed emergency funding to secure his college place. It granted his request and issued a cheque, understood to be for hundreds of euro, directly to him.

The man later uploaded a picture to social media of him, apparently in a pub, posing beside a pint with a cheque from St Vincent de Paul.

The caption read: “That’s me sorted for the Listowel Races!”

Several people complained to St Vincent de Paul and the cheque was cancelled.

“It was a bravado thing,” said Christy Lynch, the south-west regional president of St Vincent de Paul.

While he did not believe it was the man’s intention to spend the money on this week’s races in Listowel, the post had caused reputational damage to the charity.

Mr Lynch defended the decision to issue the cheque directly to the man instead of the college, saying it had done so in good faith. The man had told the committee he would lose his place in college if he didn’t get funding.

Mr Lynch apologised for any upset to the public.

This was the first time the society had come across something like this and “and we will do everything in our power” to prevent a recurrence, said Mr Lynch.

He later said St Vincent de Paul had continued to work with the student and his college place had been secured, even though the cheque had been cancelled.

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