Find out how you can access higher education in Ireland


DARE is for school-leavers under 23 years of age whose disabilities have had a negative impact on their second level education.  

Watch the videos and read the stories below of students who were successful in the DARE process and who went on to attend and complete higher education. These people may be from the same place as you, or may be studying a subject you are interested in, or maybe are attending a college you would like to attend.


Iqura lives at home in Ballyfermot with her mum dad and her sister. Iqura came to Ireland from Pakistan when she was about two years old. 

Entering her third year of undergraduate study at Maynooth University, Iqura came to Maynooth having previously studied in Saint Dominic’s college in Ballyfermot Dublin 10.

 She entered the University via the Higher Education Access Route and the Disability Access Route to Education.


University of Limerick student Shaun Fogarty was paralysed in an accident but is defying the odds by studying computer science. 

As he comes to terms with his new life in a wheelchair and on a ventilator, Shaun is the absolute epitome of resilience and determination to take part and succeed in life. 

The university disability support service has been vital for Shaun’s progression through third-level education.  His carers, his family, and the staff of UL, are unwavering in their commitment to Shaun and his education. ,

See Shaun’s story in the My Uni Life documentary


Sean O’Riordan is a 21-year-old  from Cork and a 3rd year student studying speech and language therapy at UCC.  He is vision impaired and entered UCC through the DARE scheme.  He spends most of his time either training or at college.

He’s been swimming from a very young age and is currently a member of the Irish Para swim team. He has trained and competed in locations such as London, Berlin and Tokyo over the last few years and competed at the Europeans in Dublin in 2018.

Committed to both his sport and his course he gets up most mornings at 5am, goes to training, then spends the next few hours on college work.