Irish teenage emigrant living in Australia faces large fees to study back in Ireland

By Gabija Gataveckaite

An Irish girl living in Perth is facing fees of €7,000 if she plans to start studying in DCU next year.

During a trip back to Ireland, Molly Boggan found that her lifelong dream of returning home to study law at DCU may not become a reality. For her to study in the state she would have to pay doubled fees.

Speaking to the Irish Independent last week, she described how she felt ‘punished’.

“My family just cannot afford this. I think it’s unfair, it’s not my fault or my family’s fault that we had to leave the country and now it feels like we are being punished because I want to return home,” Boggan said. 

The rate for resident students to study in the country is €3,043. However, the rate for Molly, as an Irish citizen but whose family has not been living and paying taxes in the state for three of the last five years, equates to €7,000.

“I just don’t understand how if I have an Irish passport, my parents own a property in Ireland and have always paid their taxes, that I have to deal with these crazy fees to study in my birth country,” she told the Irish Independent.

“The government is talking about bringing the young people of Ireland back to their native home. However, for me and I’m sure for many others in my situation who would love to return home, we just can’t do so as we are faced with outrageous fees.”

“I think this is an issue that the government are going to be facing a lot more in the coming couple of years with Irish citizens returning to Ireland after the recession,” said Dylan Kehoe, president of the student’s union at DCU.

“It’s probably something that many people didn’t see coming and I think the government will have to take it into account in the near future. This case will hopefully highlight the issue and something can be done about it,” he said.

First Year Representative at DCU, Bryan Mulry, has called the situation ‘annoying’.

“One simple rule has doubled her fees and made it impossible for Molly to return home. It’s annoying how bureaucracy and Red Tape can cause something like that to happen.”

“It just goes to show how constitutions, rules and governmental regulations can all have such a major effect on everyday life,” he added.

Gabija Gataveckaite