University College Cork Psychology Masters student is the latest recipient of "The Ann Moloney Bursary in Applied Psychology".

Children's Services
Laura Dempsey receiving the Anne Moloney Bursary

"Reading the job specification, Enable Ireland’s values really resonated with me. The idea of one day working for Enable Ireland stuck."

Originally from Swords, Laura Dempsey has been granted the Ann Moloney Bursary. The Bursary provides an opportunity for a UCC psychology student completing the Masters Degree in Applied Psychology, Mental Health (MAAP-MH) programme to avail of a part-time work placement in the psychology department at Enable Ireland Cork. But pursuing a career in Psychology wasn’t always Laura’s plan. The daughter of a farmer's daughter, Laura originally wanted to be a teacher.

Laura says –
“When I was young, I had always planned on teaching. But that changed one summer. My mum grew up on a farm and always encouraged us to be active and give back to the community during the holidays. So this particular summer I found a volunteering opportunity with the Central Remedial Clinic in Clontarf.”

This was Laura’s first experience working within the Disability Sector. She marks it as the moment her career trajectory changed. While volunteering, Laura supported a 10-year-old child who was non-verbal.

“My job was to work with the child and make sure they were having a good time. I learned that there is so much more to communication than speaking. I loved the positive impact I was able to make. It definitely changed my career plans.”

After that summer, Laura decided to pursue a career where she would be able to support people with disabilities. This led her to study for a BSc in Psychology at DCU. Now, Laura is studying her Masters while taking on the part-time placement with Enable Ireland.

“When I found out about The Ann Moloney Bursary it was kind of a full circle moment. In my first semester at DCU we were assigned to write a cover letter to a company we were interested in working for. While I was researching I found a job advertisement for Enable Ireland on Indeed. Reading the job specification, Enable Ireland’s values really resonated with me. The idea of one day working for Enable Ireland stuck. I was determined to apply. I’m very grateful to have received the Bursary”

The Ann Moloney Bursary, sponsored by Enable Ireland, acknowledges the contribution made by Ann Moloney in linking UCC psychology graduates to the applied work setting. Ann worked for over 30 years as a lecturer in the Applied Psychology Department at UCC. She was also a Principal Psychologist at Enable Ireland Cork. Now Laura’s journey as a Psychologist is just beginning. So far, while Laura has found aspects of the placement challenging she is also continually inspired.

“At times it can feel overwhelming. There are so many different acronyms and terminologies to get used to.  But at the same time, it’s exciting. There is so much to learn from the expertise of the team here. I’m observing as much as I can and trying to integrate.
I’ve been amazed at the opportunities I’ve had so far. Being client-facing and getting involved. I’m starting to understand the process of children going through Children’s Disability Network Team. Also how different staff fit within that. I’m really enjoying working with an interdisciplinary team and learning more about the roles of other professionals -like Speech and Language Therapists or Physiotherapists. I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to get such an insight into other careers I considered. I’m honoured to be with everyone in the room.”

Following the placement, Laura aims to continue working with an organisation like Enable Ireland.

“The placement has solidified my hopes to work in the disability sector. I’m keen to gain a role at Enable Ireland in the future.”

Enable Ireland wishes Laura the best of luck and success throughout her placement with our Psychology Department in Cork. 

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