Scholarship in memory of UCD student raises funds to put two people through college

The late James Lambe has had a university scholarship set up in his name for students who also have to deal with medical issues during education
Scholarship in memory of UCD student raises funds to put two people through college

Louise Walsh

A college scholarship in memory of a student who received his degree just days before he died last year has already raised enough funds in a week to put two students through third-level education.

A GoFundMe page for the University College Dublin (UCD) scholarship in honour of the late James Lambe has raised almost €25,000 in less than a week.

Despite being on a morphine drip for his pain and drifting in and out of consciousness, James 'Lambo' Lambe managed to say "I did it" when his family and friends presented him with his degree in Economics and Politics from UCD three days before he died.

As he was receiving his degree, President Michael D Higgins phoned to congratulate him in the Irish language and although very weak, Mr Lambe was able to answer him as gaeilge.

The popular 22-year-old from Drogheda, Co Louth was diagnosed with a chronic, rare condition Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Type 2B at the age of 13 and endured numerous cancer treatments and operations to stem the disease over the years.

However in January 2021, the tumours began to multiply rapidly and his health deteriorated quickly before his death on May 17th, surrounded by his parents Aidan and Caitriona and younger siblings Fiachra (18) and twins Niamh and Oisin (15).


Despite his long battle and enduring pain, Mr Lambe was dedicated to his education and even applied himself for a scholarship to Clongowes Wood College in Co Kildare where he became an award-winning student.

Now UCD has created a scholarship in his name for students who, like Mr Lambe, face medical challenges as they seek to complete their studies.

Mr Lambe's family and friends have set up a GoFundMe page to fund the James Lambe Memorial Scholarship which will be administered by the UCD Foundation every four years and valued at €12000. Already the fund amount means that two students will be able to avail of third-level education in the next eight years.

"James was a great kid. He was really into social justice and helping people and he never once complained of pain, despite having to endure it for so many years," said his mother Caitriona.

"He was the type of chap who knew everyone and travelled all over the world. Ryan Tubridy, President Higgins, Rachel Blackmore, James' personality was so big that he met them all though his life.

"His interest and degree was in economics and politics and he began working with his friend and Labour TD Ged Nash before his health deteriorated.

"He always put others before himself and he was a chap who touched everyone he met. I know he was my son but there was really something special about him.

"After his death, UCD reached out to us to tell us they were inspired by James' courage and dedication to education despite his illness and they decided to create a scholarship in his name so James will now live on through this programme.

"We just want to say a huge thank you to James' friends who were instrumental in this initiative and the amount of money raised in such a short time has been overwhelming. It's just testament to the type of person my son was.

"James wrote before he died that: 'Tomorrow is a promise we cannot keep, so today, be bold and brave and live fearlessly.' He lived life to the full every day and we are and will always be so proud of him for just being him."

The GoFundMe page is accessible here.

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