Patrick O’Malley – BA (Hons) in Accounting

Name:  Patrick O’Malley 

School: Rice College, Westport, Mayo

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choose your course 

I am a final year accounting student at ATU Sligo. I grew up on a farm just outside the town of Westport, Co. Mayo and completed the Leaving Certificate at the local secondary school, Rice College. I took an interest in sport at a very young age and juggled a lot of different sports throughout my teens before finally deciding to put all my focus on Gaelic football. I always had an interest in the world of accounting and how companies structured their finances, so it was a relatively straightforward decision for me to choose this course.  

Why did you choose ATU Sligo? 

While I was pondering my CAO options, I decided to pay a visit to the ATU Sligo Open Day. I was impressed with the ever-developing, state-of-the-art campus, the plentiful supply of affordable student accommodation and its beautiful location; the North West coast of Ireland is too often an underrated spot. As well as all these factors, to have a fantastic college like ATU Sligo situated in relative proximity to my home in Westport, Co. Mayo was very appealing to me. Students do not need to have studied accountancy as part of their Leaving Certificate to apply for this course, as was the case for me. I did not feel out of my depth at the beginning of my studies, and it is certainly not as big a disadvantage as one might suspect. 

What advice would you give someone thinking about choosing ATU Sligo? 

If the idea of studying in the hustle and bustle of a larger city is not for you then maybe ATU Sligo is the ideal choice for your third-level education. Not too big but not exactly small either, ATU Sligo strikes just the perfect balance. There are so many ways for students to meet new people and make new friends, via the small intimate class groups and the extremely well-organised clubs and societies that cater for all, for example.  

Do you like Sligo as a student town? e.g. things to do, food, nightlife, clubs and societies, accommodation etc. 

The beauty of the North West coast is seriously underrated, and there are many different tracks, trails and beaches (Knocknarea, Benbulben, Strandhill)  to experience within a short distance of the town. There are lots of cafes and restaurants to choose from to suit all tastes! Accommodation is in plentiful supply across the town and is excellent value for money. There’s no better way to meet new people and make new friends by experiencing a brilliant night out socialising in the many different bars and nightclubs the town has to offer. 

What specifically about your course do you particularly enjoy?

This course offers one of the fastest routes to achieving a professional accounting qualification in third-level education in Ireland. After three years of study at ATU Sligo, I will hold an honours degree in accounting. In addition, the course currently attracts a full range of exemptions from professional examinations such as CAP1 for example. This course is also highly praised by all professional accountancy bodies (CIMA, ACCA, CPA and CAI). The lecturers I have dealt with are super-friendly and very approachable. The time and attention designated to each student in the class are admirable; you get a sense that you are not just a number to them. 

What would you say to a student thinking about studying your course? 

If you enjoy all aspects of accounting, be it the data or the theory angle or both, and enjoy working and learning in a small, intimate class group then this is the course for you! It is a decision you won’t regret.  

Tell us about your sporting career/success so far? 

Member of the 2020 Roscommon Senior Football League and Championship Panels.

2020 Allianz National Football League Division 2 medal with Roscommon.

Selected on the team of the year for the ‘EirGrid 20 U20 Awards’ based on my performances for Mayo during the 2018 All-Ireland U20 Football Championship.

2018 Connacht U20 Football Championship title with Mayo.

Goalkeeper for the Westport GAA team who captured the Mayo, Connacht and All-Ireland Intermediate Club Football Championship titles during the 2016/2017 season.

2017 and 2019 Mayo U21 ‘A’ Club Football Championship titles.

What is the best thing about sports and sports facilities at ATU Sligo? 

Becoming a member of the ATU Sligo GAA club was one of the best decisions I made throughout my studies at the college. It is a great way to learn new skills, make lifelong friends and a once in a lifetime opportunity to train and play with some of the best upcoming and established players from all different parts of the country. You’ll also have a bit of craic along the way!

The sports facilities at ATU Sligo are on par if not better than any other institute of technology or university I have visited date. ATU Sligo GAA training and matches take place on a full-size, floodlit, inter-county championship standard grass pitch that is in top-class condition all year round. This is a huge help to my teammates and me when preparing for our important Division 1 League and Sigerson Cup campaigns. Other facilities include an international-standard running track, a full-size floodlit grass soccer pitch and a multi-purpose 3G playing surface. The staff at the Knocknarea Arena are always accommodating and will point you in the right direction if you have any queries. 

How has the sports scholarship benefited you? What are its advantages of it? 

Perks of the sports scholarship include free and unlimited access to the brilliant facilities at the Knocknarea Arena, situated on campus at ATU Sligo. These facilities include a large multi-purpose sports hall and gymnasium. This is a huge help as it allows me to make progress with my strength and conditioning, injury prevention and complete recovery workouts. I am also able to avail of the top-quality grass pitch for any individual training sessions that are required. The generous monetary instalments help me to cover the cost burden of groceries, student accommodation and academic fees. 

 Find out more about AU902 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Accounting

Find out more about ATU Sligo Sports Scholarships