The Sheila O'Connor (SOC) bursaries are awarded to those completing degrees in History, Politics, Sociology and Social Studies at the University of Limerick.
The bursaries, worth €1,500 are awarded to first year students on the basis of their Leaving Certificate points. The awards – the SOCs -were created by Professor Pat O Connor in 1997 in memory of her mother and to celebrate her own appointment as the first woman at full Professorial level in the University of Limerick.
As a woman, and as a frequent beneficiary of bursaries herself, Pat O’Connor said that she was “delighted to applaud the academic excellence of these young women. The initials SOC were those of my late mother, Sheila O’Connor, a graduate of University College Cork at the time the Marriage Bar was introduced in the 1930s. I look forward to a day when the loss to society, consequent on the perpetuation of a University system that has remained hierarchically and numerically male dominated, will be recognised and ended”.