Law at Last

Personal Statement
of
Padraig Daly
Law BCL (Hons) CK301

It’s amazing how one simple decision can change the course of your life and leave you wondering if the choices you make along the road of your life are the right ones.
One big regret of my academic life is that I did not pursue a degree in Law and even though I have had the experience of a Diploma in Electronics from CIT and over 16 years experience in the manufacturing industry, I still feel a calling to the faculty of law in UCC. To be able to change the course of your life again after so many years is a frightening prospect but now I know that I have the life experience to rise to the challenge. There will always be niggling doubts at the back of your mind trying to hold you back from your dream but I find that the best way to rise to any challenge is by taking a deep breath and diving in without fear or malice. This has worked for me in the past and hopefully it will be the driving force of new decisions presented to me in the future.
Growing up in a working class family of five siblings I was always proud of my heritage and there was always a sense of the difference between right and wrong instilled in us as children. My mother always defended us as any mother would have done and never backed down when it came to defending her children, be it from school teachers or bullies outside of school. She was our lawyer and counsel in those early years. This instilled in me throughout my life the need to recognise when people have wronged you or others and to always defend your corner. I suppose it’s part of any childs upbringing but my memories of my mother’s legacy are even more poignant as she died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma 4 years after my Leaving Cert. Maybe she had a long kept dream of me receiving a degree in UCC for Law. As a child I clearly remember helping her in her part time cleaning job for Powells Solicitors on the Grand Parade, dusting the large heavily bound books in their library smelling the distinct leather on the shelves. There has always been a fascination for me with the world of law and how it is the one profession in which you have the power to have a lasting affect on individuals.
Why do I want to take this challenge on at 41 years of age? I have pondered this question for quite some time and have not come up with one definitive answer. All I know is that it has been a dream of mine to gain an understanding of a discipline that can cover so much in our lives. Who knows where this fork in the road will lead me. I know that now it is within my grasp due to the fact that I now have a wiser and more knowledgable head on my shoulders which was not present as a 17 years old leaving cert student.
I have always preached to those around me that it is never too late to pursue your dream and if part of that dream involves a college education, then so be it. The question always arises as to why shouldn’t you reach out and grab hold of a future that is waiting for you. There will always be obstacles put in your way, be it financial or personal, but now I feel that my time is right to reach out and take hold of my dream. I look forward to being in an environment that will challenge me each day and resurrect my longing of the study of Law. To be surrounded by like minded individuals who have also chosen this path will put me in a position that I have longed for over the years. For years I have brought my two girls through the grounds of UCC and showed them around the different landmarks, indicating that maybe one day they will be studying here. As we sit in the Lewis Glucksham cafe eating cookies and milk I imagine that somehow these little forays through the grounds will inspire them and I have a vision of them as teenagers watching their father receive his degree in Law.
I know in my heart that one day I will achieve my dream and maybe I will look back on this personal statement with a successful career behind me as a result of all my hard work and a proud realisation that it was worth taking those first few steps to change the course of my life.

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2 thoughts on “Law at Last

  1. Congratulations Paudie! I know you will be successful! Imagine at 42, you heading back to college! I might just join you there next year!

  2. Sound advice and so right! If you had pursued this long ago you may not have been ready indeed…makes me think of things I’ve always wanted to do…do I hear cello lessons beckoning me…?

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