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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 19 June, 2019

Some 48,000 student grant applications still to be completed

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore confirmed in the Dáil today that just 27 per cent of the 66,000 applications received have been completed so far.

Students protest against cuts to third-level grants earlier this year.
Students protest against cuts to third-level grants earlier this year.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

TENSIONS WERE HIGH in the Dáil today as Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin launched an attack on the government for its mismanagement of the online student grant application system.

Martin said the delay in the processing applications was the result of a “disastrous implementation under the Minister’s watch” of the new online system and said it was “failing abysmally”.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore confirmed that just 18,000 of a total of 66,000 applications have been completed so far and have either been provisionally awarded, awarded or refused.

He said further documentation is required for 21,000 and the remaining 27,000 applications are being processed.

Additional staff has been provided to speed up the processing which he said it now proceeding at the rate of 800 per day.

Martin said the situation is “unacceptable” and is a causing unnecessary stress and anxiety for students.

“We are hearing anecdotally and worryingly about students dropping out of college as a result of the lack of certainty and the indecision and we’re also hearing the students cannot register properly and are being denied access to various services on campus.”

Gilmore said it was in no one’s interest for Martin to “exaggerate and frighten people” and said Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has made it clear to educationally institutions that no student awaiting a grant should be disadvantaged.

Read: More than 50,000 students still waiting for decision on third-level grant>

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