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INDEPENDENT Thinking EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nancy Hawkes EDITORIAL ADVISORS Aideen Hogan • Karen Kelly Jean van Sinderen-Law • Caroline Waters EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Lucy Lyons • Rebecca Noonan DISTRIBUTION Geraldine Taylor

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WRITERS Lucy Lyons (BA ‘07, MA ‘08) is a freelance writer and editor • Tom McCarthy (BSc ’08, MPH ’10) is a freelance journalist and Media and Public Relations Officer at UCC • Michelle McDonagh is a freelance journalist and MD of The Writing Agency • John A. Murphy is Emeritus Professor of Irish History and The University Historian, UCC Audrey Ellard Walsh (BA ’12, MBS Government - present) is editor-in-chief of UCC’s student newspaper, the UCC Express, and works in online media with the Irish Examiner PHOTOGRAPHERS Clare Keogh • Tom McCarthy • Maria McNamara Provision • Sportsfile • Tomás Tyner Sebastiaan ter Burg





INFANT is Born


A Welcome from the President


Great Minds Don’t Think Alike: interview with John Naughton


Q&A with Dr Ian Pickup


George Boole: an independent thinker celebrated


UCC, a Year in Pictures


Our Future, Your Future;


Marymount - A Service without Walls: interview with Dr Tony O’Brien


Prevention is Better than Cure, UCC’s Cork University Dental School and Hospital


Safe Haven: interview with Leslie Buckley


DESIGN Vermillion Design Consultants PRINTER City Print, Cork



Alumni Campaign 34

Alumni Achievement Awards


Alumni Achievements


Weddings at UCC

UCC International Alumni Chapters


Spotlight on Sport


Tomás O’Canainn, An Appreciation


Alumni on the Move


Quercus Talented Students’ Programme

50 Reunions


Feedback? I hope you enjoy Independent Thinking. If you have any comments on this edition of the magazine, or suggestions for future issues, I would like to hear from you. Contact Nancy Hawkes E: T: +353 (0)21 490 2812

Data Protection Statement: The Development and Alumni Office, University College Cork, incorporating the Alumni Association, maintains an alumni database which includes personal data in relation to you (e.g. name, address, telephone number, degree or other qualification obtained). Please note that this data may be used only by the Development and Alumni Office to keep you informed about developments at UCC and of various university and alumni events. We will also inform you from time to time about the UCC Affinity credit cards which may be of interest to you as a graduate. If you do not wish to receive information on Affinity Cards, please contact the Development and Alumni Office, UCC, 5 Brighton Villas, Western Road, Cork, Ireland. Email:


A Welcome from the President I t gives me great pleasure to welcome the 2013 graduates to UCC’s alumni community – a community of independent thinkers. Our alumni continue to be a source of immense pride for the entire university. I hope the months since graduation have been positive ones and that your journey beyond the gates of UCC has started on a good note. UCC has a long tradition of independent thinking. It is what sets us apart and makes UCC unique. Our intention is that all that come through the gates are positively changed by their experience here and are not just ‘work ready’ but ‘world ready’. Individuals ready to make their unique contribution to an increasingly global community. In the pages that follow you’ll learn more about how our alumni, both old and new, are influencing the world around them. The highlights of the 2014 edition illustrate our proud tradition of independent thinking and include:

• The story of INFANT and of two remarkable women, Professors Louise Kenny and Geraldine Boylan, who co-lead it, represents the high calibre and innovation of UCC’s research centres. Research at the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) will positively impact the outcomes of pregnancies for millions of women in the future. • Dr Tony O’Brien has long been one of Europe’s most influential advocates for palliative care training in medicine. Through 2 INDEPENDENT Thinking

his role as Medical Director of Marymount Hospice, Cork, Tony has touched the lives of thousands of people.

• Leslie Buckley is the College of Business and Law’s Alumnus of the Year 2013 and a highlysuccessful business person. But it is his philanthropic work with the Haven charity, in Haiti, that has given him the greatest source of satisfaction in his career.

• Professor John Naughton visits UCC regularly from Cambridge University to deliver lectures and stimulate debate. He is an authority on the internet. Here he reflects on some of the big questions facing a modern society that has become increasingly reliant on technology. In 2014 we will celebrate the twohundredth anniversary of the birth of Professor George Boole, one of UCC’s most celebrated alumni. Boolean logic provides the fundamental foundation upon which the global digital economy rests. Boole typifies the independence of thought that make UCC alumni distinctive. Mindful not just of those who have graduated, for those who are just embarking on their studies, UCC has recently launched the Quercus Talented Students’ Programme. The programme is designed to help new and current students with exceptional talents to reach their full potential and amplifies our motto of helping our people grow ‘from acorns to mighty oaks’.

Your support is vital to our success. Therefore we would like to maintain our relationship long after you depart from campus. The team in our Alumni and Development Office are here to strengthen and support your bond with your alma mater. As a result of recent changes, today all UCC graduates automatically become lifelong members of the UCC Alumni Association. You’ll find a complete range of benefits of being a member on page 28. To help us to keep in touch with you and to reconnect with your friends and classmates, go to If you have moved house recently, or plan to move soon, then please keep us informed of your new address. If you have yet to join UCC’s social media groups on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, I would strongly encourage you to do so now. I hope you enjoy the 2014 edition of Independent Thinking and wish you and your loved ones continuing success, prosperity and happiness in the year ahead.

Dr Michael D. Murphy President University College Cork Keep in touch at




INFANT is born Louise Kenny and Geraldine Boylan were on separate missions to improve outcomes for mothers and babies when they first met in a Cork neonatal unit six years ago. Since then, the two women have developed a deep friendship, cemented not only by a passion for the work they do, but also by the camaraderie born of being working mums to five teenage boys between them


he two professors have recently joined forces to co-direct the newly launched Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) at UCC where they have a single mission — to grow the facility to become the best perinatal research centre in the world in the space of two years, thus transforming perinatal care on a global level. It’s a hugely ambitious target, but ambition, passion and energy are qualities that these two women have no shortage of. Over the last five years, their research teams have collaborated to develop screening and diagnostic tests and novel methods of monitoring pregnancy and newborns, and both have become international leaders in this area. As well as working very closely together on a daily basis and even sharing interconnecting offices, the two women — who were the first and second females to be appointed full professors at the School of Medicine — are close friends. They both clearly remember the first time they met in the neonatal unit of the Erinville Hospital shortly after Louise arrived in Cork back in 2006. Geraldine says she was monitoring the brain activity (EEG) of a newborn baby when, “a tiny obstetrician came bouncing into the room”. While Louise knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a doctor, Geraldine explains that she took the more scenic career route. She started off studying science in UCC but realised in second year that biochemistry was not for her. When she saw a clinical physiology studentship advertised by the Cork University Hospital Neurophysiology Department, she applied for it and dropped out of her course.


As part of her studentship, Geraldine went to King’s College in London for six months prior to her graduation. She ended up staying for 17 years, working first in adult and later neonatal neurophysiology. During her time in London, Geraldine completed a masters in physiology, had two babies, went on to do a PhD in neonatal neurophysiology in King’s College — under Dr Janet Rennie, a leading authority on brain injury in babies — and then had a third baby. “A lot of my role models were females who understood the struggle faced by women who want to have a family and continue with their career. You can do it, you just need to get the balance right, and it’s so important to have mentors along the way. When I met Janet Rennie and learnt more about the work she was doing in neonatal neurophysiology, I realised that I had finally found what I wanted to spend my time researching.” While Geraldine and her husband, who are both from Kerry, loved London, they wanted to give their children the kind of freedom they had both experienced growing up, and made the decision to move back to Ireland. With Health Research Board funding, she began

a research programme in neonatal seizures at the three maternity hospitals in Cork and set up the Neonatal Brain Research Group. In 2006, she was appointed to a lectureship at the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health in UCC, and was also made a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Principal Investigator that year. A senior lectureship in the Medical School soon followed and she was appointed Professor of Neonatal Physiology in 2011. In the midst of all this, she graduated from UCC with a Masters in Teaching and Learning. She explains: “We work in the very acute neonatal period and concentrate primarily on how a baby does in the first few days after birth. There are treatments now that can help some babies with brain injury and there is increasing awareness that babies have seizures. The EEG provides a window to the brain. A seizure is a signal telling you that something is not right. The problem is that you generally do not see anything when a baby is having a seizure, which is why we monitor them so intensively after birth. Babies can handle seizures and hypoxia (lack of oxygen) better than adults, but there are still limits beyond which they don’t recover.” Geraldine’s team is now known all over the world for its work in monitoring the neonatal brain, while Louise is world-renowned for her research in adverse pregnancy outcomes and the development of a screening test for pre-eclampsia. The two teams have come together under the INFANT umbrella. “Infectious Diseases was a very exciting area at the time, there was so much happening with HIV and I thought I might take that route, but from the moment I delivered that first baby, I was hooked. I was INDEPENDENT Thinking 5


Major success for UCC’s research centres Earlier this year, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) announced the largest joint State/industry research investment (€300m) in Irish history. Of the seven successful research centres, UCC will lead four, co-lead a fifth and partner the remaining two. The research centres led by UCC include: Irish Photonic Integration Research Centre (IPIC) led by Professor Paul Townsend, at the Tyndall National Institute, Ireland’s leading research institution, which will address the grand challenge of photonic integration.

1 Great friends and loyal colleagues: Louise and Geraldine

watching one of the most pivotal things in life happening in front of me, it was just incredible,” she recalls. While ’obs and gynae‘ was where Louise wanted to be, the hours were long, the work was arduous and it was not a woman- or familyfriendly specialty. Fortunately, her recently-retired mother stepped in after she had her first baby which allowed her to work “crazy hours” as a junior doctor and complete her PhD while raising two young children. She was successful in securing one of the first Medical Research Council clinical training fellowships in the UK and did her PhD at the University of Nottingham, investigating abnormal vascular responses in pre-eclampsia. In 2001, she was invited to move to the Maternal and Fetal Health 6 INDEPENDENT Thinking

Research Centre at the University of Manchester as a clinical lecturer where she began her work on the development of a screening test for pre-eclampsia. Then in 2005, she was contacted about taking up a key role in the development of the new Anu research centre at Cork University Maternity Hospital where her husband, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, had also been offered a job. When Louise and her family moved to Cork in 2006, she began building up her research group from scratch. In 2007, she was appointed HRB clinician scientist for the four-year SCOPE (Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints) study of pregnancy outcome and in 2009, she was awarded a Science Foundation

1 Co-directors Professor Geraldine Boylan and Professor Louise Kenny, with baby Emma, at the official launch of INFANT, the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research at Cork University Maternity Hospital

Ireland (SFI) Principal Investigator Award to develop predictive markers of poor pregnancy outcome. With FP7 European funding, she continued her work in the development of a screening test for pre-eclampsia, which is due to go on clinical trial before the end of 2013. When Louise and Geraldine applied for SFI funding to set up a research centre which would combine their groups and take them to a whole new level, they knew all the odds were against them, and so they were thrilled when it was announced in February 2013 that

the INFANT centre was one of seven funded in SFI’s largest joint state/ industry research investment in Irish history. Since then, the two new co-directors have been busier than ever trying to get the centre up and running and new staff in place. From the beginning, Louise and Geraldine were adamant that they wanted to direct the centre together and they fought to put their unique model in place. “There has not been a model like this before in a research centre, but we realised it would be very difficult and a bit of a lonely existence to do it alone. I am very busy with my clinical work and am often off delivering babies and Geraldine also provides a clinical service to the neonatal unit. We are pretty committed, so being co-directors allows us to run INFANT and still see our kids,” Louise laughs. Both women are members of the GENOVATE project team at UCC, which promotes a genderequality action plan, and they are

keen to encourage other women who wish to have children and progress their careers at the same time. Having “fantastic husbands” who share the burden of childrearing has allowed them both to do this. Louise explains how she wrote one of her best grant applications with her second baby attached to her breast, pointing out that “you have to think creatively about how you use your time”. The easy friendship between the two women is quite evident. Apart from a shared passion for their work, they have also shared the ups and downs of rearing five boys of similar ages while working full-time over the years, and both have sons who started college this year. “One of us might be having an off-day and the other will know what is going on and understand,” Geraldine explains. They sometimes go into each other’s offices, close the door and have a good laugh. “They can probably hear us out on the corridor, nobody does that on their own,” adds Louise.

Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) led by Professor Fergus Shanahan, which has pioneered research into food, the gastrointestinal bacterial community, and health.

Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT) led by Professors Louise Kenny and Geraldine Boylan, which specialises in perinatal health.

Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) which focuses on developing the science and technologies required by the marine renewable energy sector.

Ireland’s Big Data and Analytics Research Centre (Insight) which focuses on addressing broad-ranging data analytic technologies and challenges. It is a national research centre that is co-hosted by UCC, UCD, DCU, and NUIG, with lead principal investigators at each site; the co-leading principal investigator of Insight at UCC is Professor Barry O’Sullivan.



Great Minds Don’t Think Alike Professor John Naughton is a passionate and lifelong advocate of communication technology. As the internet turns 40 this year, Professor Naughton discusses some of the big questions facing a society that is always online.


he internet is my subject,” John Naughton says. “It’s one of mankind’s greatest inventions. It may not be in the same league as fire or the wheel, but it is certainly up there with steam power, the internal combustion engine, electricity, railways, and the telephone. The internet now affects every aspect of our work and leisure time, how many other technologies can make this claim?” he asks. To illustrate his point, he looks to a handful of historical precedents, in particular the revolution in printing technology in fifteenth-century Germany. When Johannes Gutenberg invented the first mechanical printing press in 1455, he enabled the rapid spread of information and ideas, which has been likened to a measles epidemic, extending first across Europe and then the rest of the world. But what if the equivalent of a modern-day opinion poll was conducted among the citizens of Mainz, (Gutenberg’s hometown) in 1475, asking them to predict the impact of this technology in the future? They simply would not be able to imagine the reach and influence it would have. The long view of the internet has similar unpredictable potential. The modern-day equivalent of Gutenberg is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web in the late 1980s. “In a couple of decades, the internet has gone from being something strange and exotic to something utterly mundane, like piped water or electricity. Its impact, however, has been astonishing. Our society is now completely dependent on it, yet most people do not understand it at all,” he says.


John’s fascination with communication technologies began as a child. “I was born in Ballina, Co Mayo, and brought up in small towns on the West coast,” he remembers. “It seemed at the time to be like the edge of the world. Ours was a household with few books, magazines and no television - what Al Gore would call an ‘information poor’ environment.” One of the few chinks of light to penetrate the gloom came from the radio. It reassured him that there was a world beyond 1950s rural Ireland. His wonderment and curiosity at the power of technology to unite, inspire and inform has endured and forms the foundation of his adult interests. “I was the first in my family to go to university. From 1964 to 1968 I studied electrical engineering in UCC. To find myself among bright young people who, like me, were interested in ideas, was a magical experience. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven without incurring the trouble and expense,” he remembers. Like many of his generation who were kicking against an Ireland made grim and stagnant by years of Fianna Fáil government, he became interested in politics. His involvement in student activism led him to a lifelong interest in journalism and writing that runs in parallel with his distinguished academic career. The narrative of the birth of the internet, and the brilliant technology that supports it, is a complex one. John’s academic insight, technical awareness, and fascination for the subject make him well placed to tell that story. He wears his erudition lightly, using his writer’s skill to impart what he knows in simple,



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‘layman’s’ terms. In doing so, he places the implications of such developments within the grasp of the ordinary person. Essentially, he encourages others to think critically. Utopian and dystopian themes have long been the stuff of science fiction and are often conjured up in debate relating to the internet. But John argues that to think in such blackand-white terms is to miss the point: “Asking if the Net is good or bad, is like asking ‘is oxygen good or bad?’ We have to live with it, and live with it as it is, rather than how we would like it to be. Technology is astonishing. It has the power to liberate. But it also has a darker side. There is a terrifying possibility that this wonderful technology will be used for totalitarian purposes,” he says. “Think for a second about your email account, mobile phone records, details of who you communicate with online, or the webpages you visit,” he says. “Are you happy that a third party can gain access to this information without your permission? These questions are on my radar – are they on yours?” he asks. The reason for his concern is illustrated by the revelations of Edward Snowden, a former contract worker for the US National Security Agency. The information Snowden made public gives an alarming insight into the unprecedented scale of the covert surveillance activities of US, UK, and allied governments. These revelations have accelerated the debate about what is quietly being done in the name of ‘security’, and have drawn worldwide attention to issues of information security and the need to protect personal online data. “Edward Snowden was very astute about the information he took. He was brave and courageous and may well be regarded as one of the martyrs of history.” John says. “Our systems of democracy are ill-equipped to deal effectively with these sorts of questions. The suggestion that governments, or anyone else, can control, regulate, or censor the internet is laughable,” he says. “The argument to justify mass intrusion into privacy goes along the lines of: ‘if you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t have anything to fear’. As a society we are becoming blithe and careless in the surrender of our privacy. Privacy is a human right. The intruder must make the case for surveillance,” he says. “The internet is 40 this year, and there are some big questions facing society,” he says. “I believe that universities should not be machines for training workers. They should be

critical institutions with an important role to play in encouraging people, from all disciplines, to engage in the discourse.” To this end, John visits UCC regularly to deliver lectures and participate in debate in his role as Adjunct Professor of Teaching and Learning in UCC. Over the course of his academic career, he has seen many ‘great white hopes’ come and go. I’m interested to hear how developments like e-learning and MOOCs (massive open online courses) might influence university education in the future. John remains openminded, but sceptical: “One of the greatest technological breakthroughs in education was the school bus,” he laughs. “Technology has always offered solutions to learning-problems. E-learning is the modern response, and MOOCs are the latest instalment in the story. MOOCs will have their place in higher education, and e-learning is certainly here to stay, but there is no great revolution. MOOCs won’t provide the quick (profitable) fix that has always been an educational holy grail. A blended approach (lecture time, discussion, evaluation and appraisal), combined with human skills (support, empathy and ingenuity), will always be the basis of teaching, learning and meaningful qualifications.” John’s grandson, Jasper, is now four. What will the ‘student experience’ be like for him, I wonder? “My hunch is that it might not be that different,” he says. “He is growing up in an information-rich age. His parents love him and talk to him properly. He is exposed to interesting experiences. He has a privileged and rich existence in every way, but the gap between him and his less fortunate peers may widen: ‘a rising tide doesn’t lift all boats. It just lifts the yachts’. Education shouldn’t be the luxury of the elite. It should be the property of the world, just like the early dream for the internet,” he said. Professor John Naughton is Senior Research Fellow at Cambridge University’s Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Vice President of Wolfson College Cambridge, Emeritus Professor for the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University, and is an adjunct professor at UCC. He writes an award-winning technology column, ‘Networker’, for the London Observer and is the author of several books on the origins of the internet. Read his blog at:

GEORGE BOOLE an independent thinker celebrated

2014 will see the college community prepare for the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of George Boole in 1815. Plans to celebrate the genius of Boole and his contributions to the fields of mathematics and science are already well underway. BY LUCY LYONS


oole became the first was an extremely inquisitive and professor of mathematics intellectually advanced child. at Queen’s College Without the benefit of a formal Cork, which opened education, Boole taught himself its doors in 1849.  Greek, French, German, and Italian. Today, the Boole Centre for He worked as an assistant in several Research in Informatics, the Boole teaching positions for a time, before Library, and Boole Lecture Theatre eventually opening his own school are named in honour of the man in 1834 when he was just 19. who is regarded by many as While a schoolmaster’s salary the father of modern computer did not offer financial security, it science. Indeed, 2014 did allow the young is designated the Boole ample time Year of George to follow his own BOOLEAN LOGIC Boole, and the private studies.  college will celebrate The work which IS USED IN THE with a wide range marks him as a DESIGN AND of events including mathematical genius conferences, is his contribution OPERATION OF exhibitions, music, to the field of logic ALL MODERN and theatre. UCC and probability. An has also established Investigation of the COMPUTERS connections with the Laws of Thought on city and university which are Founded of Lincoln for the occasion, and the Mathematical Theories of Logic intends to promote Boole’s historic and Probabilities was published in legacy in Cork City, in collaboration 1854, and illustrated how simple with the City Council. algebra, (with the three main Boole was born in Lincoln in the operators, AND, OR, and NOT), UK in 1815. His mother, MaryAnn commonly known as Boolean (Joyce), worked as a lady’s maid, Logic, could be used to form basic while his father, John, was a comparisons and mathematical shoemaker who had a keen interest functions. in science and mathematics. Boolean Logic is used in the George, the first of four children, design and operation of all modern

computers and electronic devices. Indeed, wherever mathematics, logic, and computer science is discussed, the name of George Boole is remembered. In 1864, Boole caught a chill having walked in the rain to deliver a lecture to his students. This later developed into a far more serious infection, and resulted in his untimely death at the age of 49. He is buried in the churchyard of St. Michael’s Church of Ireland, Blackrock, Cork. Boolean Logic is known and recognized worldwide. The Year of George Boole aims to make his name equally well-known, and will celebrate both the mathematician and the man. For more information on planned events, please contact Olivia Coleman at INDEPENDENT Thinking 1 1


Marymount A Service Without Walls When (MB, ‘80), Medical Director of Marymount Hospice, made the decision to train in palliative medicine in 1986, he was taking a leap of faith. Today, Marymount occupies a unique place in the lives of the many people touched by the services it delivers.


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hatting over coffee in the canteen at Marymount, Tony is never more animated than when talking about his patients. “Our job in palliative care,” he explains, “is simply to do all we can to help people live full, meaningful lives, even in situations where life expectancy is short. This involves managing pain, controlling symptoms and providing psychological and spiritual support for patients and their families, so they can live the life they chose, in the manner and setting of their choice, for the duration of their natural life. Many people wish to remain at home for as long as they can, and our nurses support them, in collaboration with other community service providers, to do this. Marymount gives a service without walls.” Tony has seen many changes in palliative care over the years. The most fundamental of these is the move from exclusively endof-life care to a more integrated approach where high-quality palliative care is combined with standard oncology care from the first moment of diagnosis. This approach is now best practice in the management of cancer patients with metastatic disease. Palliative care has also moved from an exclusive focus

on cancer care to include all patients in need, irrespective of the underlying pathology. The great challenge facing the next generation of hospice professionals is the care of patients with dementia. The model is quite simple: “care when it is needed, where it is needed, and for as long as it is needed,” he says. “In my general medical training, palliative care was something that was not addressed directly and yet was an integral part of our work. In the early 1980s, Dr Michael Kearney, who was working in end-of-life care at St Christopher’s Hospice, London, came to Dublin to give a presentation on his work. That was a life changing moment for me. Listening to him, I just knew this was the path I was meant to follow.” Tony went to London where he began training in palliative medicine at St Christopher’s Hospice. “Palliative medicine was recognised as a specialty in the UK in 1987. I was the first specialist registrar at St Christopher’s when it happened. I had the privilege of working alongside Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement. She was a remarkable woman.” On completion of his training, he was appointed to the post of consultant physician in palliative medicine at St Christopher’s. In 1991, he returned to Ireland to take up his current post at Cork University Hospital and Marymount University Hospice, the second consultant in this field to be appointed in Ireland. Dr Michael Kearney had been appointed to the first such post at St Vincent’s Hospital, and Our Lady’s Hospice in Dublin in 1989. The specialty of palliative medicine has grown rapidly in Ireland from two consultants in 1991 to over thirty today. Tony made an application to the Irish Medical Council for specialty recognition, with support from colleagues in Ireland and the UK, and in 1995, palliative medicine was recognised by the Irish Medical Council. “Ireland was only the second country worldwide to do this. We are still very much at the forefront in informing the development of palliative medicine across the globe. I was extraordinarily lucky to come into the specialty at such a critical time in its development. We had a unique opportunity to grow palliative medicine organically in Ireland – we started with an almost blank canvas. Our experiences have informed the development of the specialty all over the world,” he said. Tony chaired the National Advisory Committee on Palliative Care, which published its report in 2001. Launched by the then Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin TD, the

Dr Tony O’Brien, Medical Director, in the art therapy studio in Marymount Hospice, Cork


report was described as the ‘blueprint for the development of palliative care in this country’. Ireland was the first country in the world to produce a national plan for palliative care that was adopted as government policy and remains policy to this day. Subsequently, Tony was appointed as chairperson of the inaugural “THE PRACTICE OF National Council for Specialist Palliative Care. MEDICINE IS ALWAYS A Developments in Ireland started to attract some interest SOCIAL ACT. WE NEED across Europe. Modestly, he MORE HUMANITY IN explains: “I was invited to serve on a Council of Europe Expert MEDICINE” Committee on Palliative Care in 2001 and was appointed chair. We produced a report that ten years later continues to provide direction and support to countries in the development of their individual palliative care services. Ireland really has had an enormous influence on the development of the specialty throughout the world. When governments, particularly in Europe, want to develop their services, they look to Ireland for models of service delivery.” Almost a decade ago, Tony was joined by his consultant colleague Dr Marie Murphy. Together they developed a world-class facility to replace the old ‘St Patrick’s’ that had served the people of Cork since 1870. “The new Marymount, which opened in September 2011, is virtually unrivalled in terms of its infrastructure and facilities. When we open our full complement of 44 beds by the end of 2013, it will also be one of the biggest hospices in Europe. The magnificent building provides the backdrop for the delivery of individualised, high-quality care. But the life, heart, and soul of the place evolves from the people — our patients.” The needs of patients and their families are at the heart of Marymount’s philosophy. “We are not primarily concerned with managing disease, which is a pathological reality, but with caring for the person. No matter how technologically advanced medicine may become - and I have witnessed some extraordinary achievements and developments in my career - the practice of medicine is always a social act. We need more humanity in medicine,” he says. The facility at Curraheen is staffed by a full interdisciplinary team and reflects the highest standards of service provision. It owes its existence to the generosity of the people of Cork and to key partners such as Atlantic Philanthropies. Marymount Hospice has forged 1 4 INDEPENDENT Thinking

strong partnerships and friendships with UCC, the HSE, the healthcare sector and of course, the local community. Marymount also incorporates an elaborate educational and research department. “We are growing our educational activity and we attract an increasing number of students both from home and abroad. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students attend at the hospice,” he says. Tony is keen to develop more interdisciplinary learning. “Our philosophy is that education should be experiential and students should be taught in a multidisciplinary setting. As part of this initiative, my colleague, Dr Catherine Sweeney, and others are developing more material for online access. By means of blended learning programmes, students may access material at a time convenient for them.” From the early days, UCC has been very keen to include palliative care education in the curriculum, and since the early 1990s, medical students have had exposure to palliative care principles and end-of-life ethics. Since 2007, the university has offered an interprofessional Diploma in Palliative Care which Tony would like to see developed into a master’s programme. “Ultimately, the aim is to ensure that all healthcare students at UCC have structured experiential exposure to palliative care training. No healthcare student should complete their studies without meaningful engagement with and exposure to palliative care.” Indeed, Marymount hospice and UCC are at the forefront of education in palliative care nationally and internationally. Tony has served as National Specialty Director in Palliative Medicine, and was the first Irish physician to serve on the board of the European Association for Palliative Care. Marymount University Hospice is one of the longest-serving training sites for specialist registrars in the country, and together with UCC, is represented on the All-Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care - a consortium of health agencies and universities working together to improve the experience of supportive palliative care in Ireland. “If you ask people what hospice and palliative care is, the first thing they are likely to say is ‘care of the dying.’ But there are not two distinct populations in the world, the living and dying, there is only one: the living. Everything we do here at Marymount is about enhancing and enriching life. It is a joy and a privilege to journey with people at this most precious time in their lives.”

Q&A Ian Pickup In conversation with AUDREY ELLARD WALSH

Dr Ian Pickup is UCC’s new Head of Student Experience. He was previously Director of Student Affairs at Roehampton University, London. Before joining Roehampton, Ian played and coached professional rugby with Harlequins, taught in secondary and primary schools and worked as a development officer for the Rugby Football Union.

Q: What is your favorite book? A: I read a lot for pleasure; anything Scandinavian and crime-related. I’m a bit of a closet fan of subtitled Swedish or Danish crime dramas on TV too. Beyond that I would say that my favourite ‘serious’ book of all time would be one that I read at secondary school which is Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell – we studied this in 1984 and it had quite an effect! Q: Who would you love to kit out for? A: UCC of course! There was a time when I would have taken that question very seriously, as part of my former life was spent playing professional rugby, so I find that question hard to answer without thinking: “right, lets set a training plan and see if I can do it.” As an Englishman and a Yorkshire man, I would love to have played cricket for Yorkshire and for my country in any sport. Perhaps being an athlete for Team GB in the Olympic Games.

Q: Where were you born? A: York - so I haven’t moved very far, just one consonant. Q: Who was your childhood hero? A: My childhood heroes tended to be sporting. Daley Thompson, a very famous British Decathlete, is somebody that I would have aspired to be like. Another person would have been Ian Botham, an English cricketer who single-handedly won the Ashes against the Australians. As a schoolboy I was lucky enough to be there on the final day of that game. Q: What is your party piece?  A: My party piece? Oh dear. I can juggle, so I would probably get up and juggle if I was forced to do something. I learnt to juggle in my first year as an undergraduate student in Warwick University. Q: If you could have dinner with three people living or dead, who would they be? A: My wife and kids would probably kill me if I didn’t say them! I think, on a

more ambitious scale, there’s something about world leaders like the late Nelson Mandela and those who were very active in the birth of the Internet. I’d like to get Sir Tim Berners-Lee in a room with Bill Gates, Mandela or UCC’s own George Boole! I think there would be very interesting conversation over three or four courses. Q: Who would be on your desert island playlist? A: Quite an eclectic mix of tracks from over the years. My formative years, in secondary school and university, were in the 80s, so I’d probably have lots of cheesy 80s music. But I was also a bit edgy; the Stranglers was the first music I really got into. For anyone who hasn’t heard of them, the album to look up is Rattus Norvegicus. 

Q: What is your favourite thing about UCC? A: When I first visited UCC for my interview, I was struck by the beauty of the campus, though I suppose the longer you are here the more you start to take that for granted. But on a daily basis, I’m still surprised by the greenness of the campus when I come around the corner into my office. The tradition and history that is all around us is matched perfectly by the ambition to contribute to today’s world. Q: One thing about you people may be surprised to hear? A: I found out only recently that I enjoy singing. At my last university I joined the choir and performed in public for the first time about a year ago. In another life I would be an opera singer.

INDEPENDENT Thinking 1 5


September 2012

Sports Honorary Conferrings UCC conferred honorary degrees on some of Ireland’s sporting greats


as part of the Mardyke centenary celebrations. (l-r): Drs Brian Cody, Denis Irwin, Mary O’Connor, Aidan O’Sullivan, and Ronan O’Gara with UCC

April 2013

President Michael Murphy, NUI President Maurice

Green Flag Members of the UCC Environmental Soci-

Manning, and NUI Registrar Attracta Halpin.

ety celebrate the re-awarding of the Green Flag status June 2013

by An Taisce. Some of the most significant features of the student-led initiative include a cumulative saving

The Great Book of Ireland

January 2013

Summer Conferrings Seán, Cian, Gráinne and Darragh Manning were some of the many

on waste of nearly €1m in the last six years, as well as

graduates and family guests on campus this year for the UCC Summer Conferrings.

a saving of over 750,000 m3 of water since 2007.

Honorary Conferrings

June 2013

Fellow contributors Nuala Ní

Drs Dermot O’Mahoney,

Dhomhnaill, the late Seamus Heaney

Graham Norton,

and President of Ireland, Michael D.

Fergal Keane and

Higgins, reflect on the Great Book of

Judge Donald Molloy

Ireland, Leabhar Mór na hÉireann, at a

stroll through the UCC

special ceremony to welcome it to its

Quad during their

new home in UCC. The Great Book is

Honorary Conferring Day.

a vellum manuscript comprising the original work of nine composers, 121 artists and 143 poets, including three literature Nobel Laureates: Samuel Beckett, Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott. Produced in Dublin between 1989 and 1991, the book has been acquired by UCC to be preserved and displayed by the university for posterity, on behalf of the Irish people.

Junior Conferrings Over 7,000 primary school March 2013

Holi Celebrations Members of UCC Indian Society celebrated the Indian festival of Holi in a traditional carnival of colours in the Lower Grounds, UCC.

students took part in UCC’s Junior Conferrings in 2013. The young students are given a tour of the campus, after which they test their knowledge of UCC in a fun quiz. Only once they pass their ‘exam’ can they walk (skip, run or jump!) across the Quad, in accordance with university tradition.

June 2013

Beaufort Building Taoise-

July 2013


October 2013

ach Enda Kenny turns the sod at the site of the new UCC Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork.


Led by UCC, the Beaufort Building will be a flagship development in the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC). Over €15m has been invested in the development which includes the National

Autumn Conferring Ceremonies

Ocean Test facility.

Almost 4,000 students were conferred in UCC this autumn. Here, UCC mace-bearer John Connolly leads PhD and DSc graduands through the Quad to their Neutral Irish Gannets

July 2013

conferring ceremony.

Dr Mark Jessopp of the Coastal & Marine Research Centre, University College Cork, was part of a team of researchers

UCC Welcomes Brazil

from more than 14 institutions in the

A group of dancers and musicians, practitioners of

UK, Ireland and France who tracked

the Brazilian dance/martial art Capoeira, welcomed

the flights of gannets. They found

a large cohort of Brazilian students to UCC along

that the birds, who can fly hundreds

with UCC President, Dr Michael Murphy and Brazilian

of kilometres on a single fishing trip,

Ambassador to Ireland, Pedro Fernando Brêtas Bastos.

avoided visiting the fishing grounds of

The students have arrived in UCC through the Brazilian

neighbouring colonies. The most striking

Science Without Borders programme.

October 2013

example of this was seen off the west coast of Ireland where gannets from two colonies, Bull Rock and Little Skellig, are within sight of each other, yet head off in different directions. These findings could transform our understanding of animals’ foraging patterns.

The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine

November 2013


September 2013

wins Best Irish Published Book Award At the launch of The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine in Newman House, Dublin. (l-r): Mike Murphy, School of Geography, UCC; Maria O’Donovan, Cork University Press; John Crowley, School of Geography; Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson FoundationClimate Justice, who launched the book; William J. Smyth, School of Geography and Mike Collins, Cork University Press. The book went on to win Best Irish Published Book of the

Charity Fight Night

Year, 2012 at the Irish Book Awards.

UCC Students’ Union President Padraig ‘Podge’

Breeda Herlihy from the Boole Library has been seeking permission from

Haughney (standing) ahead of his clash with Olympian

UCC PhD graduates to digitise their theses in order to further store and

Kenny Egan for UCCSU Charity Fight Night.

Digitising Theses

broadcast their excellent research. For further information contact Breeda at T: +353 (0)21 420 5109.


PREVENTION is Better than Cure UCC’s Cork University Dental School and Hospital was founded 100 years ago this year. The institution’s fascinating and eventful centenary story is told in a new book, Prevention is Better than Cure: History of the Cork Dental School and Hospital, 1913–2013 by John Borgonovo, Denis O’Mullane and Tim Holland. Treating a patient in the old Dental Hospital, 1982


he school’s foundation followed the development of formal medical and dental education in Europe and North America, and was connected to advances in modern

Cork University Dental School and Hospital staff and BDS graduates, 1959

medicine across the industrial world. UCC’s dental school initiative came from the dynamic President Bertram Windle (1904–1919), who was in the midst of a rapid expansion of the university. Windle

Dental nurses outside the old Dental Hospital, 1980s


had earlier served at the University of Birmingham, where he helped launch a bachelor degree in dental science, (BDS), the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. Seeing an opportunity for further growth at UCC, Windle convinced twelve Cork dentists to start a dental hospital at the North Charitable Infirmary, on the city’s north side. This teaching hospital would train student dentists enrolled at UCC. The school’s founders were unpaid, and that voluntary teaching arrangement would continue for a remarkable forty years. During the school’s first decade, it survived the political instability of the First World War and Irish Revolution. Student numbers remained relatively modest (two or three annual graduates) until the Second World War. The establishment of the National Health

Service in the United Kingdom at that time created an enormous demand for new dentists, which Cork helped fill. Student enrolment increased by 400%, with graduates typically taking up positions in Britain. Many subsequently returned with rich experience that helped improve Irish dentistry. Over the past century the resilience of the dental school has been repeatedly tested. Perhaps the book’s most compelling reading concerns the extended battles to save the school from closure during the 1970s. Students, staff, graduates, and dental hospital patients created an effective grassroots campaign that included marches, petitions, and press events. The school triumphed over its adversaries, and emerged with a new dental hospital, which became a critical centre of dental education and research. This

new dental hospital added immeasurably to a distinct UCC dental community comprised of dental professionals, researchers, and academics spread across the world. The book explains how the teaching of dental education in many ways mirrored changes in dentistry itself. Some adaptations may be more obvious than others, such as the development of air rotor drills and medical imaging technology. But there are other aspects, such as the emergence of dental nurses and hygienists, emphasis on dental decay prevention rather than tooth extraction, and the use of sanitary scrubs and gloves. In many ways the story of the Cork University Dental School and Hospital is also the story of dental practice in Ireland.

About the Authors: Denis O’Mullane is Emeritus Professor of Preventative Dentistry, UCC. Tim Holland is a retired Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry. John Borgonovo specialises in modern Irish and Cork history. Prevention is Better than Cure: History of the Cork Dental School and Hospital, 1913–2013 was published on 25 November, 2013 and is available from the UCC Visitors’ Centre, UCC and all good bookshops, priced €30.

To order your copy, contact the UCC Visitors’ Centre, UCC: T: + 353 (0)21 490 1876 INDEPENDENT Thinking 21


SAFE HAVEN Leslie Buckley (BSc ‘67, MSc ‘69), one of Ireland’s leading business people, reflects on a rollercoaster career and the changing media landscape. But it is the work of the Haven Partnership, an NGO working with the people of Haiti to rebuild sustainable communities, which is the source of most pride.



f the walls of 1, Grand Canal Quay could talk, what would they whisper about Leslie Buckley, chairman of Independent News & Media (INM)? An unexpectedly colourful insight into his life is on offer as I explore the pictures adorning the wall of the meeting room at LF Buckley and Associates, in the heart of Dublin’s Docklands. Bill Clinton beams back at me, standing next to Leslie and his wife Carmel. A neighbouring frame shows an upbeat Leslie alongside media mogul Denis O’Brien. A picture of Haitian President, Michel Martelly, dominates the centre of the wall. His eyes rest on me as I make my way to the final picture the thread that connects all of the players. It is a painting by Carlos Baptiste, depicting a potent mix of chaos and reassurance. A woman stands resolutely amidst the rubble of what was once the economic hub of the Haitian capital Portau-Prince, the ‘Iron Market’ (Marche de Fer). The infant in her arms must have been oblivious to the devastation wreaked by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake which devastated the country of 10 million people on 12 January 2010. Just a year earlier, Leslie and Carmel had proudly launched the Haven Partnership, then a house-building charity, that soon found itself in the middle of one of the worst humanitarian crises of the twenty-first century. Haven offers a curious departure from the world of business usually inhabited by 68-year-

old Leslie. Educated in Presentation Brothers College, Cork, he grew up a stone’s throw from UCC. As he finished fifth year, Leslie recalls a blunt conversation with his dad. “My dad, who was trying to raise five boys on his own, said: ‘Well, you’ve two options. You can go and play rugby in sixth year and then go into the family business, or else go to university.” Having pitched in from an early age, the family business seemed the obvious choice. Yet in spite of a good relationship, Leslie feared they might fall out some day, both being of a strong-willed nature. This hesitation, coupled with the freedom college offered, meant that UCC won out. “I had a robust conversation with my maths teacher, Freddie Holland. He told me ‘They don’t want guys like you in university. You’re really not very good at maths.’ It was a defining moment. I told myself I would teach him a lesson or two. So off I went, but who turns out to be one of my lecturers, only Freddie Holland!” Leslie remained true to his word - well he attended all his maths lectures at any rate. Holland, perhaps inadvertently, had kick-started a competitive streak in Leslie, who accumulated the best maths notes in the year and went on to make a tidy sum giving grinds. Leslie clearly relishes his time at UCC. “The freedom and comradeship was terrific. I had a great social life, but I found the discipline required didn’t suit my nature at first. We used to say, if you hadn’t started studying by the time the grass on the Quad got its first cut, you probably wouldn’t get your exam. I stuck with it, and when Waterford Crystal came calling for graduates I got lucky.” “It was a great training ground. I knew nothing about unions, for example, (although I found out an awful lot about them in later years), but I flourished and spent five years there.” Of course times have changed since then and he has some advice for would-be entrepreneurs. “No matter what your business, it’s all going online, so you have to be confident in that space. Languages are very important too. If I were to have my time in UCC back again, I would learn Chinese. There are a lot of western companies out there seeking ex-pats.” Leslie’s CV marks him out as a calculating risk-taker and challenge-seeker. He credits his wife’s support and patience as he climbed the ladder. Middle management at Waterford Crystal; production manager at Smurfits; secretary to the board of directors of Bord Telecom Éireann; fundraising for the NGO Goal; business INDEPENDENT Thinking 23




Leslie pictured in Haiti in 2012



consultant; even selling make-up door-to-door and a spell running a stall at the now defunct Kasbah market in Cork, have all contributed to his success. His role as chairman of INM particularly stands out given its high profile nature. Despite the popularity of news content on the internet and social media, he is surprisingly cheery on the future of traditional media. “There’s a migration to digital media, but I don’t believe that the traditional publishing business will ever die. One has to keep driving the digital portion though and nobody has really managed to do this yet profitably, though I’d like to think that we could in the near future. The only way that INM is holding its level is by taking costs out of the business.” Leslie is of course referring to the successful bid to restructure INM back in September 2013 in a move to return the company to viability. Editorial independence also remains a hot topic in the media, one that Leslie views firmly through a business lens. “We have to keep looking at synergies. It would be fantastic to think you can combine print and radio and have the cost reductions to go with it . . . but one has to recognise the regulatory environment we operate in.” Given his interests in the sector and their close working relationship, Denis O’Brien is a name that inevitably crops up. O’Brien has attracted a substantial amount of negative press over the years which Leslie feels often overshadows the good work he does. “In this country, we kill our own. Denis O’Brien is someone who is very generous, not just with money but also in the time he gives people. The media rarely reflects his human side. A large amount of the criticism he receives is very unfair,

even by his own newspaper at times . . .” Whether everyone will agree with that opinion is uncertain, but one thing is for sure. The Iron Market, a symbol of prosperity and hope in Haiti, would not have been resurrected on the first anniversary of the earthquake save for O’Brien, at a cost believed to be €15 million, on top of an initial aid donation of €3.5 million. Leslie found himself embedded in Haven’s aid efforts in Haiti long before the earthquake struck. “I’d seen the deprivation which was really endemic in Haiti through my work with Digicel. My wife and I were discussing whether there was some further way we could contribute. We secured some land and started Haven from there, and it is one of the best things I’ve done.” The building of basic latrines morphed into the re-construction of entire villages. The battle is slowly being won, as increasingly the upgrading of peoples’ houses, and skillsets to boot, becomes the priority. “You’re putting people into new houses and a new community and that’s great, but they don’t have the same land and neighbours as they had before. You have to provide training on how to co-exist with neighbours. We’ve often engaged in conflict resolution,” he said. Over 1400 volunteers have gone to Haiti to date, with a new call opening in April. The biggest annual fundraiser is Haiti Week, next taking place in January 2014. The local fishing and sewing trades have also been revived, and this time round the men can build their own boats and the women enjoy greater opportunities to sell their products. Leslie is hopeful of enabling the community to dream even bigger. “A couple of weeks ago two representatives from Údarás na Gaeltachta, famed for its cottage industry in the west of Ireland, flew out to help Haven begin putting a similar template together there. The Haitians are the most resilient people I’ve ever come across and they are looking for a hand-up, not a hand-out. Some people in Ireland are in need. But you know, there’s nobody in Haiti wondering about water charges – many don’t have water.” Leslie is proof positive that the college course you do does not define your future the BSc (majoring in chemistry) and MSc he emerged with gather dust to this day. “It’s what you do afterwards that counts. People often say to me, ‘Leslie is there another course I should be doing?’ I say just go out and get the experience, and be yourself. There is no entrepreneur that I know – Denis O’Brien, Tony O’Reilly, Michael Smurfit – who does not work relentlessly.”

Our Future, Your Future “

UCC is ranked in the top two per cent of universities in the world. We want to not only maintain but improve on this achievement. To do this, we need your support. Through our campaign, Our Future, Your Future, we aim, through Cork University Foundation, to raise €50m for key projects in five categories: Nurturing talent – scholarships for students Enabling research – support for research Fostering innovative learning – enhancing the learning environment Enriching culture and heritage – supporting creativity and celebrating heritage Enhancing the environment – maintaining the beauty of the campus The Development and Alumni Office is currently a team of seven individuals who work together to build strategic partnerships for the university, many of which are based on philanthropy. We seek support for projects that will help UCC to deliver on its primary mandate of teaching and research while at the same time responding to society’s needs. Our aim is to help UCC continue to be a world-class university by inspiring creativity and independent thinking in a research-led learning environment. The team is responsible for fostering links and building relationships among UCC’s 100,000-strong global alumni community, all of whom are automatically members of the UCC Alumni Association. Alumni can maintain their links with UCC by updating contact details at, delivering guest lectures, mentoring students, offering student work experience, recruiting alumni, serving on advisory boards, providing advice and guidance to the university, and supporting UCC events. Revenue generation from the alumni community through the UCC Alumni Fund is an additional and very important outcome of the relationships we cultivate. The support that UCC receives from its alumni, in all its forms, is deeply appreciated. Giving to others through philanthropy is very enriching and this is why so many people choose to support their university. UCC has been here for 169 years and will continue to thrive for centuries to come. It is important that my colleagues and I ensure that the university has the means to address the needs of its students and alumni well into the future. I am exceptionally grateful, on behalf of the team and the university, to all those who have enabled others through their generosity.

Dr Jean van Sinderen-Law is Director of Development and Alumni Relations, UCC.

Become a Donor to UCC

UCC is investing in students, helping them to develop their potential and find solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges. Thanks to the generous contributions of alumni and friends, we support a range of exciting projects. These projects, which have their beginnings at UCC, will ultimately make a difference around the globe.

Nurturing talent Providing scholarships for students who face hardship, who are overcoming challenges or who display exceptional academic, sporting or creative promise.

Fostering innovative learning Encouraging the development of world-class teaching and learning environments that will ensure our students are world ready and work ready when they leave UCC.

Enabling research Setting researchers of all disciplines on the path to discovery. These journeys may lead to the development of new treatments for life-threatening illnesses or the unearthing of vital evidence from the past.

Enriching culture and heritage Opening doors, both physical and virtual, to diverse aspects of culture and heritage, by funding the digitisation of significant archives, the publication of knowledge and the exhibition of modern and ancient art, literature and artefacts.

There are several ways to make a donation to the UCC Alumni Fund. Give a regular monthly gift by direct debit

Give a gift today by cheque or credit card

Give online

Alumni living in Ireland can make a monthly contribution to UCC. Simply complete the attached donation form and return in the freepost envelope provided.

Alumni all over the world can give by cheque or credit card. Simply complete the attached donation form and return in the freepost envelope provided.

To give online from anywhere in the world visit Donations typically range from €25 to €500. All donations will be acknowledged and receipted.

Enhancing the environment Supporting the evolution of UCC’s magnificent campus.

Giving a donation to the UCC Alumni Fund is an investment in UCC and in the future. For more information about the wide range of projects that are supported through the Alumni Fund visit

UCC Development and Alumni Office team (l-r): Geraldine Taylor, Senior Executive Assistant; Aideen Hogan, Communications Executive; Cal Healy, Development Manager/ Secretary Cork University Foundation; Dr Jean van Sinderen-Law, Director of Development and Alumni Relations; Karen Kelly, Development Manager; Orla Fitzpatrick, Development Executive and Caroline Waters, Alumni Relations Officer

Giving options in Ireland

Giving options in the UK

Giving options in the USA

Giving options in the rest of the world

»» Direct debit »» Cheque »» Credit card »» Online

»» Cheque »» Credit card »» Online

»» Cheque »» Credit card »» Online

»» Cheque »» Credit card »» Online

Charities in Ireland may reclaim tax on donations of €250 or more.

Tax relief available for cheque donations only.

Tax relief available for cheque donations only.

Tax relief is not available in other jurisdictions.

Cheques must be made payable to UCC Educational Foundation to qualify for tax relief.

Cheques must be made payable to Irish Educational Foundation to qualify for tax relief.

Cheques must be made payable to Cork University Foundation.

UCC Educational Foundation is a registered charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Irish Educational Foundation is a registered charity with 501 (c) 3 status in the USA.

Cheques must be made payable to Cork University Foundation. Cork University Foundation is a registered charity and donors who give €250 or more will receive a tax certificate which they may choose to complete should they wish Cork University Foundation to reclaim tax on their donation.

If you would like to find out more about giving to the UCC Alumni Fund, contact Development Managers, Karen Kelly T: +353 (0)21 490 3643, E: or Cal Healy T: +353 (0)21 490 3814, E: 26 INDEPENDENT Thinking


Keep in Touch AIB Affinity credit cards

All alumni automatically become lifelong members of the UCC Alumni Association. Register for events, make a donation, or update your details at


How does the Alumni Association help me? Alumni events in Ireland and abroad Opportunities to attend concerts, public lectures, networking events, the Alumni Achievement Awards and the Christmas Homecoming. Go to for a full events listing. Class reunions service To organise your class reunion contact Caroline Waters, Alumni Relations Officer at E:, T: +353 (0)21 490 2040.   Alumni chapters around the world To find a chapter near you, visit Social networks Join other UCC alumni through social media via the University College Cork Alumni Network on LinkedIn and Facebook.  

Complimentary copy of Independent Thinking A copy of the annual UCC alumni magazine, Independent Thinking, is sent free to all members. UCC affinity credit card Apply for a UCC Affinity card. This supports sport and heritage at UCC. Go to for more details.   UCC email account for life All alumni are entitled to a permanent UCC email account. Go to faqumail/ to find out how you can activate your email account.   Preferential rates at the Mardyke Arena Health and Leisure Centre To find out how you can join go to www.

Affinity Credit Cards for UCC Alumni Bank of Ireland and AIB make a donation to UCC every time a new UCC Affinity credit card account is opened. They also donate a percentage of the total annual spend on UCC Affinity credit cards to the university every year. There is no additional cost to you for these donations. By switching your current credit card to a UCC Affinity credit card, you can provide valuable support for sport and heritage at UCC.

Thousands of UCC alumni proudly carry a UCC Affinity credit card To request an application form contact Karen Kelly or Cal Healy in the Development and Alumni Office. T: +353 (0)21 4903643 E: T: +353 (0)21 4903814 E:

Lending criteria and terms and conditions apply to all credit card applications. Government stamp duty of €30 is charged annually per credit card account. Credit cannot be offered to anyone under 18 years of age. Bank of Ireland is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

UCC careers service UCC continues to be a resource for alumni. Go to to see the services available to you. Transcripts To obtain a copy of your transcript please email UCC’s Records and Examinations Office at E: Use of the UCC Alumni Association Room on the UCC Quad To book this room for evening or weekend alumni meetings/small class reunions contact Caroline Waters, Alumni Relations Officer at E:, T: +353 (0)21 490 2040.


Bank of Ireland Affinity credit cards


UCC International Alumni Chapters The UCC network connects over 100,000 alumni of all disciplines, nationalities and ages all over the world. If you find yourself in a new city we encourage you to make contact with the local UCC alumni chapter. If there is no chapter in your area, why not set one up? Our alumni chapters organise a range of events throughout the year.  From gala dinners to table quizzes, networking evenings to river cruises, family outings to cultural talks there are all sorts of ways to get involved and maintain your links with UCC and your fellow alumni. Here, some of the Chapter Chairs describe what has been happening in their part of the world recently.

Martin Kelleher - Boston “I graduated with a BComm in 1984 and, like the majority of my class, ended up in the UK. I obtained an accountancy qualification in the UK and an MBA from Duke University in North Carolina. My wife Gillian is also a UCC graduate, (Bachelor of Food Science), and we always wanted to be in Boston - it’s almost like a home from home for us. Indeed, Boston has been home since 2000, but we still miss the mild Irish winters!” “With over 20 years experience of working for blue chip multinational companies, I decided to start my own consulting company helping small companies (including Irish companies) to expand in the US.” “I help to run The Irish Educational Foundation here in Boston. It’s a 501c which allows USbased residents to donate to Irish educational causes in a tax-efficient way. Many of the donations directly fund UCC projects, and I find it’s 30 INDEPENDENT Thinking

a great way of giving back and getting to know other UCC alumni in the US. John Hegarty, who also graduated with a BComm, acts as treasurer for the organization, while Darina Gilley-Chesterton, a BA graduate, is secretary.” “The UCC Alumni New England Chapter meets several times a year in the Boston area. The anchor event is a reception hosting the UCC President, which is held annually at the BC Club in November, with up to 100 alumni attending. We are always trying to reach out to new UCC alumni in the New England area, and we work to create events that are appealing for them.” “Gillian and I both believe we received a wonderful education from UCC, and we like to keep in touch with the university, with Cork, and with Ireland. Getting involved with the UCC alumni chapter here in Boston allows for all of these things, while it also provides the opportunity to meet people and enjoy a social occasion.”

Clockwise from top left: Johnathan C. Irwin, UCC Alumni London Chapter; Martin and Gillian Kelleher, UCC Alumni Boston Chapter; Katie Hamilton, UCC Alumni Chicago Chapter

Johnathan C. Irwin - London “I graduated from UCC in 2009 having completed a BA in Economics and Politics as well as an MA in Financial Economics. I came to London shortly afterwards to take another masters which would allow me to specialise further in my field, and in 2010 I secured a position as a mergers and acquisitions analyst in the corporate and investment banking division of BNP Paribas. I have been with the bank for three years, and among the many key lessons my role has taught me is the importance of networking, especially amongst alumni.” “A university’s former students are one of its most valuable assets, and there can be a tendency to under-exploit their experience and knowledge. Alumni who live abroad wish to remain connected and are willing to give back to their university. With this in mind, the UCC Alumni London Chapter was

established in 2012 with the mission to provide welcoming support and advice for new UCC graduates, and to arrange enjoyable social, cultural and professional events for UCC alumni in London.” “Since the chapter was set up, we have organised various events including quiz nights, Fourth of July parties, and day-trips outside of London, as well as informal gatherings where people can meet and get to know one another. We are now the largest of UCC’s alumni chapters, and our membership continues to increase. We welcome not only alumni who have graduated recently, but also those who have lived in London for a number of years. This objective is becoming ever more apparent

in the structure of our dedicated organisation committee where we now have graduates from the early 1990s. However, the committee has also recognised the need to engage current students by connecting them with our members by arranging internships, site visits, insight-events or simply having a five-minute telephone conversation. After all, students are alumni in training!” Katie Hamilton - Chicago “I’m originally from Chicago. I got a scholarship which allowed me to study MBS Government at UCC. I cannot speak highly enough of my experience in Cork and I’ve enjoyed maintaining close ties with

my fellow students and professors despite the distance. It was a difficult move back to the US after graduation, so I was thrilled to see the formation of a UCC alumni chapter in my hometown.” “The UCC Alumni Chapter in Chicago is quickly gaining membership and enthusiasm. We hosted our first reunion last year at the Irish American Heritage Centre. Our second reunion was held recently at the Irish Consulate in Chicago – the number attending had tripled (many thanks to Consul General Aidan Cronin – a fellow UCC graduate – for facilitating the event!). Chicago is an Irish town in many ways and there are many organisations dedicated to the diaspora. The INDEPENDENT Thinking 31

7 Ronan Breen, UCC Alumni Paris Chapter

we’re hoping to reach out to some of the French students who studied in UCC, in addition to our Irish alumni. Between the two there’s the potential for a great network of UCC alumni in Paris.” Alan Barry and Micheál Collins Singapore

Chicago Chapter will continue to work with these organisations to support their causes and strengthen our local community.” “A degree from UCC speaks highly around the world and no place is that more apparent than here in Chicago. The Chicago Chapter looks forward to being a strong steward of the UCC community and welcomes all local alumni to be involved with this exciting endeavour.” Ronan Breen - Paris “I studied Commerce (International) with French in UCC and naturally enough have ended up in France. I graduated in October 2012 and had already moved to Paris before graduation. I’m working in the Paris office of Enterprise Ireland on a two-year graduate programme, where we help Irish companies to export to France. It’s hard to believe, but I’m now in Paris for 12 months.” “Before arriving in Paris, I researched the UCC alumni chapter for Paris on LinkedIn, and discovered that there was room for more activity. Arriving in a new city 32 INDEPENDENT Thinking

can be difficult, particularly when combined with the other challenges of starting work after graduation. It’s great to be able to find a group that you can slot into easily, meet with regularly, and keep the connection to UCC - a part of life that’s important to most of us.” “Since I arrived in Paris, I’ve been in touch with other members of the chapter to make a renewed effort regarding meet-ups. Things are informal so far and we’re growing bit by bit. We’re building up a database of contacts, starting to use our LinkedIn group a little more effectively, and trying to use our networks to reach out to all past graduates of UCC. We’ve a great bunch of people here who have graduated anywhere between a year ago and 40 years ago, so the mix is really interesting. I’m hoping that over the next year we can increase our numbers and encourage a few more people to come meet up, get in touch, and rebuild the connection with UCC through this network.” “We currently meet once a month. The location varies depending on the season, (nice terraces for a rosé in the warmer months, or a vin chaud in a cosier spot in the colder weather). In the next 12 months

Micheál Collins: “I studied science at UCC and graduated with a BSc in Physics, then followed this with an MSc before going on to study for an HDip from the Maths and Physics Department, which introduced me to the world of software and my first career. I moved to Singapore after a few years in Dublin and Spain as I wanted to pursue an MBA at INSEAD who have a campus there, and I’ve been here since 2004.”


for UCC alumni and then we will decide what events and activities to plan for the year ahead.” “Very simply, it is people who open doors to alumni. So we are here to facilitate opportunities for alumni who make it to Singapore and who need a hand to help them to establish a presence. Asia has huge growth potential and we want our fellow UCC alumni and students who are currently studying in UCC to learn about these possibilities, and to take the brave step to come out here. We know they won’t be disappointed. Singapore is the regional headquarters for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and a stepping stone for much of Asia.” “We’d like live link-ups with students in UCC to coach them on career planning, from across several disciplines, and involve them in internships. We would like to get alumni in Singapore to have live video chats with their departments and let current students know what to plan and expect for the years ahead.”

Edmond Cunningham - New York “The New York Alumni Chapter has been in place for a number of years and it currently has several enthusiastic leaders; Susan O’Brien, Clayton Love, Gemma Walsh, Kevin O’Brien, and me. We all work together with guidance from the previous lead, Pat O’Connell.” “We are currently busy organising a number of events in the New York area for members and other alumni who would like to come together for social gatherings or larger events such as our UCC alumni dinner which took place recently at the Princeton Club, New York. Special guests on the night were Dr Michael Murphy and Professor Joe Lee. Events held in the past have taken place in Fitzpatricks, a local Irish hotel chain, and in the New York Irish Consulate offices with the kind permission of the Consul General, Noel Kilkenny.” “Our overall objective as an alumni group is to raise the profile of UCC Alumni in New York. Our alumni group offers a platform from which we can demonstrate

the independent thinking that has developed from our experience of studying at UCC.” “In the next year, we plan to host a number of events that will feature guest speakers on topics covering the entrepreneurial and independent view of the world that our time at UCC has fostered in each one of us. A mini AGM is also on the cards in the coming months to allow members who would like to take leadership roles the opportunity to have their voices heard.”

To find a UCC alumni chapter in your area, or to establish a new chapter, visit alumni/chapters or contact Karen Kelly on E: Update your address on so that we can let you know about alumni events in your area and join the ‘University College Cork Alumni Network’ on Facebook and LinkedIn to receive news of alumni events in Ireland and abroad.


5 Alan Barry and Micheál Collins, UCC Alumni Singapore Chapter

5 Edmond Cunningham, UCC Alumni New York Chapter


Alan Barry: “I’m a teacher’s son from Youghal, I went to UCC to study commerce. From there I worked in the Netherlands and UK. I moved to Singapore three years ago with Standard Chartered to run secured lending for Standard Chartered globally.” “The Chapter in Singapore is still getting off the ground. Our goal is to create a ‘baton’ for someone else to take and run with once we are established. We are organising a ‘see who is in town’ get together INDEPENDENT Thinking 33

AWARDS Opposite page: Award recipients (l to r): Aisling Foley; Leanne O’Sullivan; Dick Kenefick; UCC President, Michael Murphy; Frank Golden; Jane Kenefick and Dan MacSweeney This page: Pictured at the event (clockwise from top left) Una Griffin, Tracy Nolan and Helena Kiely; Constance and Chris Martin, Managing Director Architectural & Metal Systems; June O’Connell, Cian Twyford and Michele Twyford


Alumni Achievement Awards 2012 06


CC honoured six distinguished alumni at the annual UCC Alumni Achievement Awards Gala Evening in the Aula Maxima in November 2012. Leanne O’Sullivan, Aisling Foley, Frank Golden and Dan MacSweeney were honoured with awards for outstanding achievements in their career or life work. A fifth award, the Alumnus Award for Voluntary Service to UCC was presented to a unique Cork couple, Mary Jane and Dick Kenefick, in honour of their outstanding voluntary contribution to UCC sports. An Alumnus Achievement Award is the highest honour that the university can bestow upon a graduate. Leanne O’Sullivan (BA ’05, MA ’06), is a poet from the Beara Peninsula. She has won several prestigious awards, including the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry 3 4 INDEPENDENT Thinking

in 2011, awarded by St Thomas University in St Paul, Minnesota, the Rooney Prize in 2009, and the Ireland Chair of Poetry in 2003. She has published three collections of poetry; Waiting for My Clothes (2004), Cailleach: The Hag of Beara (2009) and The Mining Road (2013). She has been invited to teach workshops in Ireland, Europe, and as far afield as China and India. Aisling Foley (BCL ’91), left a successful legal career in Ireland to volunteer with the Home of Hope Charity in South Africa in 2009. Her work focuses on children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a condition associated with high levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. FASD symptoms include psychological and behavioural issues which mean that children with the condition struggle in a mainstream educational environment. In 2010, the charity

helped to establish Amathemba (‘Our Hope’) a school for children with FASD, the first of its kind in Africa. Frank Golden (MB, BCh, BAO ’60) is a world leader in the science of cold water survival. He attained the rank of Surgeon Rear Admiral, the most senior posting for a medical officer in the British Navy, before retiring in 1993. Frank’s research has uncovered the physiological basis for some of the catastrophic cardiovascular, respiratory and neuromuscular responses to cold water immersion. His work has been translated into a myriad of lifesaving benefits. Frank co-edited the standard text Survival at Sea, and has received numerous awards for his work including an OBE, and the Gilbert Blane Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons.


Dan MacSweeney (BScDy ’76) is CEO of Carbery Group, (formerly Carbery Milk Products). Under his leadership, the company has grown to become a global operation employing over 500 people in four continents, and serving customers in more than 25 countries. Dan has a keen interest in supporting the development of his native West Cork, and was the first chairman of the West Cork Technology Park in Clonakilty. He is a Director of the Irish Dairy Board, and has served on the board of Teagasc, and was a member of the Harvest 2002 Committee and Implementation Group that produced a blueprint for the growth and development of Ireland’s agri-food sector. Carbery Group partners with UCC in research, employs UCC graduates, and is a member of the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science External Advisory Committee.

Mary Jane Kenefick (nee O’Brien) and Dick Kenefick were honoured for their work with UCC Hockey Club and UCC Rugby Club respectively. As a student, Dick Kenefick, (MB ’77), captained the college team to Munster Senior Cup success in 1976. He has held many and varied positions in the club since then, including those of coach, medical doctor, president, and chairman of the finance committee. Dick helped to establish the UCC Rugby Academy and he runs the annual UCC RFC Sports Medicine Conference. Mary Jane Kenefick, (BA ’77), is President of UCC Ladies Hockey Club, one of the largest clubs of its kind in Munster. The club fields five teams each week in local competitions and also competes in the All-Ireland League. Mary Jane has also held many leadership roles in promoting ladies hockey at second level, including serving as chairperson of the Munster Schoolgirls Council for


six years until 2010. She is a former President of Ashton Hockey Club and is actively involved with Mount Mercy College.

Go to to watch the ceremony, and to see short interviews with the recipients. UCC would like to acknowledge the generosity of the sponsors of the UCC Alumni Awards 2012: Architectural & Metal Systems Bank of Ireland Boston Scientific Henry Ford and Son Limited PricewaterhouseCoopers If you know of a distinguished graduate who merits an Alumnus Achievement Award, please forward a profile of your nominee to Caroline Waters, Alumni Relations Officer by 1 March 2014 on E: or T: +353 (0)21 490 2040. INDEPENDENT Thinking 35

Alumni Achievements Ronan Breen (BComm International, ’12), was named UCC Graduate of the Year for academic excellence and the singular role he played in enriching the public life of the university. Waterford-born Ronan also succeeded in taking one of the graduate places on Enterprise Ireland’s International Graduate Programme. He currently works in France where he oversees the development of Irish firms.

Dr Ivan E. Daunt (MB, ’50), was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 in recognition of over 60 years of dedicated medical practice in Saskatchewan, Canada, where he was one of the longest serving practitioners in the province. He retired in 2011 at the age of 84, and intends to remain in Yorkton, in the house that’s been home for most of his life.

Anne Buttimer (BA, ’57, MA, ’59), Emeritus Professor of Geography at UCD since 2003, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science at the University of Grenoble in 2012. In the same year, she was elected Vice-President of Academia Europaea – the first female and first Irish person to hold that office. She was presented with the August Wahlberg Gold Medal by the King of Sweden on behalf of the Swedish Society of Anthropology and Geography in 2009. In early 2014, Anne will be honoured with the American Association of Geographers’ highest honour, the Lifetime Achievement Honor for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of geography.

Dr Catherine Dewhurst (BMedSc, MB, BCh, BAO ’03), completed radiology training at Cork University Hospital in 2010, followed by two fellowships in Abdominal Imaging & MRI at BIDMC and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. She was awarded the 2012 Rita and Felix Fleischner Young Investigator Award for Outstanding Research as a graduate in radiology at Harvard. Dr Dewhurst was appointed Consultant Radiologist at University Hospital Limerick in January 2013. Professor Conor Duggan (BSc ’68, PhD ’71, MD ’96), Emeritus Professor of Forensic Mental Health and head of research and development at Partnership in Care

Ronan Breen

Anne Buttimer


at the University of Nottingham and Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham, was awarded an OBE in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honours list in 2012 for his work in the field of mental health. He received the Senior Scientist Award in 2010 from the British and Irish Association for the Study of Personality Disorder, and a Lifetime Achievement Award for Clinical Care from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust in 2009.

Dr Patrick F. O’Leary (MB, BCh, BAO ’68), received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 from the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, where he was Chief of Spine Services. The award was presented at the hospital’s twentyninth Annual Tribute Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria, NY. He was also honoured by his alma mater with the 2013 UCC Alumnus Achievement Award for distinguished achievements in medicine.

Dr William Fennell (MB ’67, MD ’72), consultant cardiologist at the Bons Secours Hospital, Cork, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Irish Healthcare Awards in Dublin. Dr Fennell’s tremendous voluntary work has seen him lead many fundraising campaigns, including the Fundraising Associates for Cardiac Equipment (FACE), and the CUH Heart Foundation which continues to raise funds to support stem cell and vascular research at the Centre for Research in Vascular Biology at UCC.

Kevin O’Riordan (MBA, ’13), Director of Programme Management at the software security company, McAfee, has won the Deloitte UCC MBA Graduate of the Year award 2013. This prize is awarded by the accountancy firm to the student from each graduating UCC MBA class who not only demonstrates outstanding academic performance, but also contributes significantly to the Executive MBA programme.

Dr William Fennell

Louise Riordan (BComm French ’10), won the Vodafone Ireland World of Difference programme for 2012/2013. The programme has allowed her to work for a charity

Kevin O’Riordan

of her choice while being paid and supported by Vodafone. Louise chose to work for Young Social Innovators, which harnesses young people’s creative thinking and enthusiasm, and works with them to find solutions to social problems. Dr John Ryan (BMedSc, MB, BSc, BAO, ’04), based in Chicago, has recently been awarded the Cournand and Comroe Young Investigator Award at a ceremony in California. This award is sponsored by the Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation, part of the American Heart Association, and acknowledges Dr Ryan’s work in biomedical science. Derry (Dermot Patrick) O’Sullivan (BA, ’65), is an Irish language poet based in Paris. His poem, ‘Marbhghin 1943: Glaoch ar Liombo’, (‘Stillborn 1943: Calling Limbo’), was translated into English by Kaarina Hollo and won the 2012 Times Stephen Spender prize for poetry translation. Derry’s other awards include four Oireachtas Literary Prizes, and the Seán O’ Ríordáin Memorial Prize.

Dr Eleanor O’Sullivan

Dr Eleanor O’Sullivan (BDS, ’82, PhD ’05, MSc Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, ’07), clinical lecturer in oral surgery at UCC, has recently been hailed as ‘Hero of the Health Service’ for her work with the Mouth, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Ireland Campaign. The campaign was established in 2009 by Dr O’Sullivan and her UCC colleagues, along with the Irish Cancer Society, the Dental Health Foundation, the Dublin Dental University Hospital, and survivors of head and neck cancer. Professor Helen Whelton (BDS,’80, PhD, ‘89), has been appointed Dean of the University of Leeds Dental School having previously been Dean of the Graduate School at UCC’s College of Medicine and Health. She is also President of the International Association for Dental Research.

To let fellow alumni know of your achievements, please forward your news on recent promotions, honours, publications or awards to be featured in next year’s magazine to E:

Professor Helen Whelton INDEPENDENT Thinking 37

I Do! UCC Weddings



05 01 Claire Dalton and Barry O’Sullivan (both BMedSc, MB, BCh, BAO ’05) 03


02 Evelyn Kingston (BA ’04) and Mark Mythen (BSc ’00) 03 Deirdre McCarthy (BSc (Food Business) ’06) and Padraig Murray 04 Niamh Mary O’Connell (BSc ‘02, PhD ’07) and Noel Kieran Browne (BSc ’03) 05 (l-r) Jo-Anne Ryan, Professor Tony Ryan, Heather Ryan (BSc Nursing - present), Scott McDermott, Kaye McDermott, Mahon McDermott.


06 Karen McNulty and Tom McCarthy (BSc (Public Health and Health Promotion) ’08, MPH ’10) 07 Frances Mary Stafford (BSc (BIS) ’04) and Brian Murphy (BComm ’06, MBS Gov ’07) 09


08 Breffni O’Sullivan (BSc (Physiology) ’03) and Desmond O’Rourke


09 Ruth O’Leary (BSc ‘05) and Montague Hennessy


10 Ingrid Groeger (BSc (BIS) ’03) and Colm Cosgrove (BComm ’03) 11 Laura Dunne (BComm ’07) and John Floyd 12 Ciara Mulconry (BSc (Food Technology) ’06) and Brian Kelleher (HDE ’04) 13 Grace Buckley (BA ’01, HDip (BFIS), HDE ‘05) and Tony Barry 14 Elaine Cronin (BA ’04, MA ’05) and Daragh Meaney (BE ’04) 15 Rachel Brannigan (BSc ’03) and Peter Hallahan (BA ’01)

11 38 INDEPENDENT Thinking




15 INDEPENDENT Thinking 39



An Appreciation BY JOHN A. MURPHY


n this age of narrow specialisms, the phrase ‘renaissance man’ has become a cliché, being applied to anybody who has a mere additional string to his or her bow. In short, the currency of the term is debased. How then are we to describe the truly phenomenal uomo universale that was Tomás Ó Canainn? He had several remarkable careers, it seems all at once – professional engineer, academic, lecturer, broadcaster, composer, instrumentalist (accordionist and especially uilleann piper), singer, poet, biographer, novelist, memoirist, ham radio enthusiast, fluent linguist always in pursuit of new language horizons . . . He was the doyen of traditional musicians and was honoured by them as Ard-Ollamh Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. A native of Derry and a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and of Liverpool University, Tomás and his wife Helen moved to Cork in 1971. There he became a lecturer in electrical engineering and later long-term Dean of the Faculty. Thus UCC became his adopted alma mater, he graced its walls, inspired its students and enlivened its community for the rest of his life. It was highly appropriate that he should have been honoured with an Alumni Achievement Award in 2008. 40 INDEPENDENT Thinking

While continuing to pursue his engineering career, he studied for a BMus under Aloys Fleischmann and Seán Ó Riada (whose biography Tomás was to write). When Ó Riada died prematurely in 1991, Tomás lectured in traditional music (as well as engineering!) for some years. Conventional academic eyebrows were raised at this striking resolution of the C.P. Snow dichotomy but in reality it was a true return to university values. It certainly characterised independent thinking on the part of both Fleischmann and Ó Canainn. ‘The Pennyburn Piper’ (the title of a CD I was glad to launch) remained an unreconstructed Derryman all his life in Cork. It was by retaining their original personality, culture and accent – still ‘warbling their native woodnotes wild’ – that people like Tomás added colour and richness to their host community. Whenever he sang the opening line of the great Henry Joy McCracken ballad, ‘An Ulsterman I am proud to be’, you could feel the pride. He had that same pride (mórtas cine) in his Derry family, and those of us who were privileged to be in his musical company felt we had become personally acquainted with his grandfather Francie Murphy, so often was his memory lovingly evoked by Tomás, especially when he played and sang his

Upti dis alitem laborestis exerferum arit explitatis iditaturem que volorentiam fugit, verunt. Dis que porro que quo bea cullacc ulparci lluptat ibearum



favourite piece, ‘The Verdant Braes of Skreen’. When Tomás first came to Cork, he may have felt some sense of alienation, Ovid among the Goths, listening to the ‘strange up-country talk’ of Thomas Russell’s fellow country-men. But soon his life became integrated not only with the university but with his local community in Glanmire. He lived in a little Gaeltacht enclave in Ard Barra, close to the village, and was a Mass composer and choir conductor in the local church. I was privileged over the years to sing a small part in his beautiful Aifreann Colm Chille every St Patrick’s Day. His Tuesday night sessions at the Heron’s Perch pub were legendary, attracting vocal and instrumental talent far and near. During the tourist months, foreign visitors would be greeted in their own language by Tomás and encouraged to offer a song from their native country. Not being as addicted to song as ourselves, their contributions soon faltered. Whereupon, to their astonishment and relief, words and air would be continued and completed by Tomás himself. The Tuesday night session was primarily a community event, though high-calibre performances were always welcome. Tomás as fear an tí made sure the local people were kept firmly at the centre of things. Everyone was encouraged to sing and every kind of song was warmly received, irrespective of quality, Tomás treating one and all with respect and affection. The years of The Troubles in his native North were a source of anguish to him. But his attachment to the ancestral language and culture was not to be exploited to promote nationalist dogma. Irish for him was a natural expression of his being, not an aggressive affirmation. During that fraught period, when many in the South had to painfully examine and sort out an ambivalent and sometimes virulent nationalist package, Tomás as a greatly admired Northerner living in our midst, gave valuable witness to tolerance simply by letting the language and the music speak for themselves, free from the imposition of politics and ideology. That was no small service in a critical and tense time. In terms of the biblical parable, Tomás generously placed all his remarkable talents at the disposal of the community. In his own 42 INDEPENDENT Thinking

words ‘any knowledge I had, I wanted to share with others and to inspire people to play music’. His wit and good humour were never tainted by malice and he was entirely innocent of that besetting Irish sin which has been described as ‘content to risk a far salvation/for the quick coinage of a laugh.’ I never heard him speak a bad word of anyone, and he could find good motives for even the most dubious of deeds. His banter could be irreverent at times but he was a profoundly spiritual person. This was evident in his fervent involvement in the performance of his Aifreann Colm Chille and in his spoken mediation at the end of a recording of that Mass. Tomás Ó Canainn enriched our lives immeasurably.

1 Tomás Ó Canainn and fellow musicians preparing to perform at the opening of the Glucksman Summer Show, UCC

Eamonn Ryan (BA, HDip ’67) has coached and led the Cork Senior Ladies Gaelic footballers to eight All-Ireland Senior Championship titles and six National League titles. Sunday 29 September 2013 will long be remembered as the exciting climax to the senior final for ladies football, as Cork edged out Monaghan to win their eighth TG4 Senior title in nine years. Eamonn was previously presented with the Kieran Dowd Perpetual Award for his contribution to sport both on and off the pitch, at the UCC Sports Star Awards Ceremony. He was formerly a GAA Development Officer at UCC, and has been involved in coaching for over thirty years. He was presented with the Glanmire District & County Person of the Year Award in 2012 for his contribution to the Cork Ladies Gaelic Football success.

Spotlight on Sport INDEPENDENT Thinking 43

Alison Miller

Ronan O’Gara

Peter Catchpole

Miriam Crowley

Ultimate Frisbee Club

Sonia O’Sullivan Athletic Track

UCC Rowing Club

Lauren Murphy, Josh O’Shea, Zoe Murphy

Alison Miller (BEd – present) will evermore be hailed as a hero for her performance in the 2013 Women’s Six Nations Rugby Championship. This comes as the Irish women’s rugby team made history by winning the Grand Slam, and the Triple Crown, and the Championship for the first time in its history. Alison scored a hat-trick of tries against England and in so doing, secured the team a fifth-place ranking in Europe. Alison also recieved the ‘Supreme Sports Star’ award at the UCC Sports Star Awards 2013. The awards are now in their 30th year and they recognise outstanding sporting achievements from students in UCC. Alison previously received a UCC Sports Star Award in 2012. Ronan O’Gara (BA ’98, MBS ‘99) retired from rugby in May 2013 to take on a coaching role with Racing Métro 92, a French Rugby Union team based in Paris. Ronan will be an assistant coach at Racing Métro where he will also work closely with their youth team. 44 INDEPENDENT Thinking

To date, Ronan is the highest pointsscorer both for Ireland and for Munster (he scored a total of 2,625 points), and is the fourth highest points-scorer in the history of international rugby. He has captained Munster, Ireland, and the British and Irish Lions. Ronan played for UCC Rugby Club in the inaugural year of the Frazer McMullen All-Ireland U20 Cup which UCC won in 1996, and has worn the skull and bones with pride. Ronan received an Honorary Doctorate from UCC in September 2012 as part of UCC’s celebration of 100 years of sport in the Mardyke Sports Grounds. He was one of six sporting heroes to be honoured at the special awards ceremony. Josh O’Shea (MBS – present), Lauren Murphy (BSc – present), Zoe Murphy (BSc – present), represented UCC in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia in July 2013 this year - Josh, from the men’s soccer club, and Lauren and Zoe from the ladies soccer club. The Irish universities teams

competed against teams from Canada, Russia, China, Great Britain, France and Mexico. Lauren and Zoe helped UCC Ladies Soccer Club to win their first intervarsity title in 25 years in 2013, while Josh helped UCC Soccer Club to runner-up position in the Munster Senior League Peter Catchpole (BEd – present) was recognised at the UCC Sports Star Awards 2013 for his performance in the Men’s Hockey Club. Peter captained the team which brought the Mauritius Cup to reside in Cork for only the second time in the club’s history. The cup was won on home turf at the Mardyke Sports Grounds in Cork. Peter also helped the team to a third place finish in the Munster Senior League and was a member of the team which won the Irish Trophy Cup in 2012.

Miriam Crowley (BDS – present) was honoured at the UCC Sports Star Awards in April 2013. Miriam returned to UCC this year having taken a year out to train full-time with the Irish Senior Women’s Hockey team in their preparations for the 2012 Olympics. She helped UCC to reach the Munster Senior Cup final and to secure third place in the Munster Senior League. Pictured above, Miriam represents UCC in camogie, her other sporting passion. The Ultimate Frisbee Club started in UCC in 1999 thanks to the efforts of Welsh student David Rosenfeld. Since then, the sport has gone from strength to strength. UCC Ultimate has been competing in Irish and UK tournaments since 2002, when the first Irish intervarsities were held in Cork. Last year, UCC equalled the record for intervarsity wins currently held by TCD (4), and became the first Irish team in the history of Ultimate Frisbee to win UK Nationals. UCC’s student population voted Ultimate Frisbee ‘Club of The

Year’ in 2013, and, to the delight of every one of its competitors, Ultimate Frisbee has recently been officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee. Sonia O’Sullivan Athletic Track Former World Champion, Olympian, and legendary athlete Sonia O’Sullivan, was honoured by UCC in April 2013 when a new 400-metre running track at the Mardyke Sports Grounds in Cork was officially named The Sonia O’Sullivan Athletic Track at UCC. The original track had been badly damaged in the flooding of 2009, and was given a new lease of life, in the form of a €650,000 investment, to go with its new name. The opening of the new track sees the latest investment and development of sporting facilities at UCC. The new track was open for business for the Irish University Athletics Association Track and Field Intervarsities shortly after the reopening ceremony.

UCC Rowing Club, established in 1886, is one of the oldest and most successful clubs in the university. The club is currently based at The National Rowing Centre in Inniscarra, where members can make the most of top-ofthe-range facilities and have the chance to train on the 18km lake. UCCRC members are encouraged to reach their full potential on the water by the mentoring of Ed Green, the club’s Development Officer. Indeed, many students who began rowing with UCC have since moved on to compete at the very highest levels in the sport. The beginner’s programme run by the club consists of an eight-week block, and starts in the second week of term.


Alumni on the Move Congratulations to everyone who has moved onwards and upwards in 2012–2013. Here is a selection of people who’ve been in touch with us to let us know their career news.

Don Buckley (BSc ’83), is CEO of Tools at Schools, an organisation he co-founded with design consultancy Aruliden in 2012. This is a non-profit organisation that aims to partner schools with corporations and use design-thinking to solve real world problems. Dr Fergus Coakley (MB ’88), recently accepted the Chair at the department of diagnostic radiology in the Oregon Health and Science University. Dr Coakley is Professor in Residence at the department of radiology and biomedical imaging at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine. Dr Philip Collier (BSc ’98), was recently promoted to Senior Research Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Cambridge, MA. Vertex recently discovered a new drug, Kalydeco, which targets a specific ‘Celtic’ form of cystic fibrosis. David Cowhey (BCL ’04, LLM ’05), has established his own legal firm, David Cowhey Solicitors, a general legal practice which is based in Cork. The practice will focus mainly on litigation work.


Anne Marie Crowley (neé Gordon), (BA ’83 HDip Ed ‘84), has built a career over the last 25 years in the field of human relations. She recently set up her own practice in coaching, training and development based in Cork. Ed Donovan (BA ’04), is CEO of Heartaid, a company which he set up in 2010. Heartaid is the leading provider of cardiac screening in Ireland, providing on-site cardiac screening to schools, companies such as Laya Healthcare, and sports clubs such as the the Gaelic Players Association, and the Football Association of Ireland. Heartaid aims to reduce the incidence of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) in Ireland. Rory Feely (BSc ’93) has worked for the past 18 years in the US Marine Corps as a military officer and helicopter pilot. Most recently, he has advanced to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and has switched career paths into the Defence Acquisitions Corps.  Simon Fitzpatrick (BEC ’99), is co-founder of, an online resource for those in the construction industry who need to source parts for construction equipment.

Lucy O’Donoghue

Georgina Goff

Dan Mulhall

Finian Sedgwick

Gillian Keating

Pat O’Sullivan

Colin Ross

Miriam Madden

Philip Collier

Aaron Forde (BSc ’88) was elected Chairman of the Irish Dairy Board in June 2013. Alan Gallagher (BComm ’05), is Vice President of ConnectIreland, a business that was set up in March 2012 to attract foreign investment to Ireland. October 2013 saw Taoiseach Enda Kenny announcing the creation of 83 new jobs at the third Global Irish Economic Forum; jobs which were created through the efforts of Alan and his team at ConnectIreland. Georgina Goff (BA ’92), is Head of Communication, Marketing and Corporate Citzenship with IBM Ireland. Graham Healy (BSc (BIS) ’00, MSc (MIS) ’08), was recently appointed a Managing Director with Accenture, and assumes a senior sales role in its health and public service practice for Europe, Africa and Latin America. Gillian Keating (BA, BCL ’94), has recently been appointed President of Cork Chamber of Commerce. She is a partner at JW O’Donovan legal practice, which offers specialist legal skills to Irish and international clients.



Fiona de Londras (BCL ‘02, LLM ‘03, PhD ‘08), was appointed Chair of Law at Durham University in 2012, where she also acts as the co-director of the Durham Human Rights Centre. Miriam Madden (BComm ’86), was appointed Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in June 2013. She began her career with the Hewlett-Packard graduate trainee programme, and subsequently worked for Agilent Technologies. Miriam has also worked as Director of Finance for the Scottish Arts Council, and more recently, for Historic Scotland. David McCoy (BCL ’98), has recently been made a partner in Comyn Kelleher Tobin Solicitors where he has worked since 2004. David’s work is in the area of general litigation and child protection law. Sinead McNamara (BCL ’95), was appointed Cork County Sheriff in March 2013, and is one of only four sheriffs in Ireland. She will work with the Department of Justice and with the Revenue Commissioners. Cork-born Sinead is currently a partner at Fitzgerald Solicitors in Cork. Dan Mulhall (BA ‘75, MA ‘78), joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1978 and has had postings in New Delhi, Vienna, Brussels and Edinburgh. He has served as Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur and Berlin and has recently been appointed Ambassador of Ireland in London. Dr John O’Donoghue (PhD Computer Science ‘08), is a lecturer in the Department of Business Information Systems, UCC. In 2011 John established a new research centre, the Health Information Systems Research Centre (HISRC) 48 INDEPENDENT Thinking

at UCC, which focuses on eHealth or the application of information and communication technologies in healthcare.

of Ulster Bank in Belfast. She has spent 21 years in international banking, and her career includes many senior executive roles.

Siobhán O’Connor (BSc (BIS) ’04, BSc Nursing ’13), joined the Health Information Systems Research Centre, UCC, as Research Manager in 2011. She previously worked in the financial services industry as an accountant and financial analyst before refocusing her career in healthcare.

Professor Rosie Raffety (BA ‘75), is currently Associate Professor of the University of West London Business School, but also founder and CEO of the Academy for Innovation, (Interface Space Ltd.). Interface Space provides a free networking site for educators with free video conferencing to enable real-time connection and collaboration.

Lucy O’Donoghue (BA ‘89, MA ’91), has set up Lucy O’Donoghue Consulting, which provides expertise in project management, public relations, event management and social media. Diarmuid O’Donovan (MA ’10), has been appointed Senior Administrator of Cork County GAA Board. He is responsible for the implementation of best practice in administration of activities of the county committee, and for the coaching and support of staff. Diarmuid manages all financial services and operations along with standing as minute secretary to county and management committees. Pat O’Sullivan (BComm ’97, HDip Computer Science), is Director for Business Intelligence at EMC in the US. He is responsible for the key big data and analytics delivery and strategy for EMC, and for supporting nearly 30,000 internal business information users. Peter Power (BCL ‘87), was appointed Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland in 2012. He joins UNICEF following a three-year term as Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs. Rosemary Quinlan (BComm ’90), was recently appointed NonExecutive Director to the board

Colin Ross (BComm ’92), is Managing Director of iASC – Atlantic Seafood Company of Ireland Ltd – a company which was set up following the successful completion of Bord Bia’s Food Works 2012 programme. The company has already lodged a number of patents, and its first product is iASC Irish Shellfish Butter, the world’s first proteinenriched Umami butter. Raymond Ryan (PhD ’05), is co-author, along with Dr Andy Bielenberg from the department of history, UCC, of An Economic History of Ireland Since Independence, which was published by Routledge, London. In 2013, Raymond accepted the post of Post-Doctorate Research Fellow in the department of history at UCC. Finian Sedgwick (BComm Chinese Studies ’12), was appointed Jameson Brand Ambassador for the Vietnamese market in June 2012.

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Quercus Talented Students’ Programme A unique new scholarship programme is being introduced at University College Cork to help new and current students with exceptional talents to reach their full potential. The Quercus Talented Students’ Programme is designed to recognise and support students who have exhibited outstanding talent or demonstrated significant personal achievements. The programme is open to all, both prospective students and those who are currently studying in UCC. The university will welcome its first Quercus scholars in 2014/15. The programme will reward, challenge and support students, whether their talents and triumphs lie in the academic field or an area of personal interest, such as sport, the creative and performing arts, innovation and entrepreneurship, or active citizenship. Manager of the Quercus Programme, Michèle Power explains that quercus is the Latin name for the oak tree family, a very potent symbol for UCC, and the aim of the programme is to help talented students grow from acorns into mighty oaks. Michèle says that UCC is the first Irish university to offer scholarships in the areas of active citizenship and innovation and entrepreneurship along with the more standard sporting, academic and creative arts scholarships. UCC acknowledges that while success in the Leaving Certificate may be used to recognise

academic talent, many students are prevented from performing to the fullness of their academic ability in this examination due to social and cultural factors outside of their control, or through disability. “We operate on the principle that there are multiple intelligences. Once a student meets the minimum requirements for matriculation, we can overlook the supply and demand of the points system and look at the student’s other talents, skills and abilities,” Michèle explains. As well as 60 entrance scholarships, there will be 125 college scholarships selected by the colleges, and 10 university scholarships for outstanding academic achievers. There is a whole range of supports tailored to the individual scholar’s needs. These may include practical help like the purchase of sports equipment or travel bursaries to attend conferences abroad, or to cover traditional costs like accommodation, conference expenses or the purchase of a laptop. Michèle is encouraging people to apply to the programme directly or to inform others who they feel may be suitable for a scholarship. She points out that the programme is not just for school-leavers and is open to both UCC and non-UCC students. “We are also looking for mentors to get involved in nurturing the talent of our Quercus scholars on an ongoing basis, or to provide more practical experience. In addition, we are looking for financial support from friends of the programme to secure its future in the years to come,” she adds.

The Quercus Talented Students’ Programme offers prospective and current students the opportunity to apply for scholarships in five areas: Academic • Active Citizenship • Creative and Performing Arts • Innovation/Entrepreneurship • Sport If you, or someone you know, is interested in applying for the Quercus Talented Students Programme, go to or for more information contact Michèle Power, Quercus Programme Manager: T: +353 (0)21 490 4688, E:


REUNIONS October 2013: Fiftieth anniversary dinner of UCC Hurling Club first win, in 1963, of the Cork Senior Hurling Championship


The late 50s and early 60s were a golden era for UCC hurling. UCC were always among the last teams to survive the knockout system. But it wasn’t until 1963 that they broke through, beating the traditional powerhouses of Cork hurling - Glen Rovers, St Finbarrs and Blackrock, to become champions. The final was a tempestuous affair, but UCC emerged victorious: UCC 4–17, Blackrock: 5–6.




All but four of the team who lined out on that day – 29 September 1963 – attended the reunion dinner.

February 2013: UCC Annual Soccer Colours lunch

in London, College Corinthians and UCC Graduates (Dublin).

This ever-popular event helped raise funds for UCC Soccer Club. The guest speaker was Mick Wallace TD, property developer and former football manager with Wexford Youths Football Club. Four matches were played over the weekend with visiting teams including UCC Diaspora

Pictured (right) at the event are (l-r): Kieran Nestor, Chairman UCC Soccer Alumni; Mick Wallace TD; Jim McNamara, Captain Collingwood Winning Side 1973; John MacCarthy, President UCC Soccer Club

October 2013: Collingwood Cup 1973 Winners Reunion


Back row: (l-r): Bill Barry (assistant coach), Blake Burke (hon secretary), Liam Fennelly, Jim Curran, Connie O’Sullivan, Ted Foley, Kieran Down (coach). Front Row: Ben Shorten, Pat Morris, Billy O’Connor, Eddie Doyle, Jim MacNamara, Declan Farmer, Don O’Sullivan, Kevin Rolls, Malachy Boohig Class Reunions 1. October 2013, BE class of 1973, 40-year reunion, Maryborough House Hotel, Cork 2. September 2013: MB class of 1983, 30-year reunion, Castlemartyr Resort Hotel, Co Cork 3. September 2012: BSc Dy Sc class of 1987, 25-year reunion, UCC 4. November 2012: BComm class of 1987, 25-year reunion, UCC 5. June 2013: Medical class of 1953, 60-year reunion, UCC. (l-r) Noel O’Connell; Niall Gallagher; Marie O’Sullivan; Dick Buckley; Dorothy Keelan; Professor John Higgins, Head of the College of Medicine and Health, UCC; Mary O’Brien; Dr Pat Kiely; Una English; Denis O’Sullivan and Donal Bevans 6

6. June 2013: Medical class of 1953, 60-year reunion, 7 UCC. Dr Noel and Margaret O’Connell


One hundred alumni and their guests from the class of 1963 gathered from all over the world to mark a very special reunion celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of their graduation from UCC. Classmates, Fr Michael Waters, who is based in Nigeria, with the assistance of Fr Lee Cahill and Fr Nick Motherway, celebrated Mass. The sun shone as graduates gathered outside the Honan Chapel to renew friendships and remember their days in UCC.









For advice and assistance in planning your class reunion, contact Caroline Waters on T: +353 (0)21 490 2040 or E: or

1. (l-r) Brendan O’Halloran with Marcella and John Clancy.

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2. Frances and John Riordan 3. (l-r) Ita O’Sullivan, Maura McQuinn, Joan Buckley and Máire Clarke



4. John and Eleanor Carroll

9 3

5. Fr Michael Waters with Caroline Waters

7. Breeda Glynn and Gerardine Flanagan

6. (l-r) Mary Catherine Hennessy, Kitty Horgan, Brid Murray and Joan Ryan.

8. Denis O’Mahony, Denis Lynch and John Moynihan

Pictures by Clare Keogh

9. (l-r) Mary Travers, Ruth Dromey, Maeve Hyland, Peg Riordan and Jane Thomas


10. Cashel and Peg Riordan 11. Catherine and Steve Stott



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Independent Thinking 2014  

The University College Cork Magazine

Independent Thinking 2014  

The University College Cork Magazine