Alumni Spotlight

Shaun O’Connor - Filmmaker

Shaun O’Connor - Filmmaker

  • 09 Oct 2017

Award-winning filmmaker, Shaun O’Connor, has just launched his first photography exhibition, ‘Personal Space: Travels in India’ which chronicles five months’ solo travel in India, all shot on a mobile phone. Shaun’s short films have won awards at the Corona Cork Film Festival and DC Shorts among others. His work has been screened on RTE and he has directed and edited music videos for the likes of Julie Feeney and Declan Sinnott. ‘Personal Space: Travels In India’ is currently showing in St. Peters, North Main Street and continues until 30th October.

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Ellen Desmond - Co-founder Monstrous Regiment, a publishing collective

Ellen Desmond - Co-founder Monstrous Regiment, a publishing collective

  • 02 Oct 2017

Former Motley Editor, Ellen Desmond, moved to Scotland to pursue a Masters in Publishing at Edinburgh Napier University which led to her starting a publishing collective called Monstrous Regiment with a fellow Napier graduate. Their first project is an anthology of essays and personal stories about bisexuality called ‘The Bi-ble: An Anthology of Essays on Bisexuality’. 

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Dr Patrick Cotter - Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Dr Patrick Cotter - Advanced Nurse Practitioner

  • 25 Sep 2017

Patrick Cotter is an Advanced Nurse Practitioner at the Emergency Department, Cork University Hospital and lecturer in the Postgraduate Diploma in Emergency Nursing at UCC. He has worked and taught in Emergency Nursing since the late 1990’s and was central to the development of the first Advanced Nursing Practice post in the Cork/Kerry region. Patrick talks to us about how his student days at UCC shaped his career.

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Niall Connolly -Singer-Songwriter

Niall Connolly -Singer-Songwriter

  • 18 Sep 2017

Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Niall Connolly returns to Ireland to embark on a 17-date tour where he will perform songs from his new album 'Dream Your Way Out of This One'. Niall is accompanied by musicians who have performed with the likes of Leonard Cohen, REM and Glen Hansard. The band will play Coughlan’s, Cork on 29 September. Niall talks to us about his time at UCC and how the Live Music Society introduced him to the music business.

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Victoria Shorten - Owner, One Lifestyle Management

Victoria Shorten - Owner, One Lifestyle Management

  • 11 Sep 2017

Victoria Shorten lives in Miami, Florida and is the owner of One Lifestyle Management a luxury lifestyle company specializing in looking after pro athletes worldwide. She is the owner of VSL Jewelry, a jewellery company that has designed for stars such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas and many more. Victoria is married to Jason Randolph and has a 1 year old son, Jack Buckley Randolph.

 

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Aidan Murphy - Co-founder of Galway Hooker Brewery

Aidan Murphy - Co-founder of Galway Hooker Brewery

  • 04 Sep 2017

Aidan Murphy is co-founder of Galway Hooker Brewery, one of Ireland’s leading craft breweries. The company has expanded into a new state of the art brewery last year and is now developing its next growth phase through targeted export markets. Aidan talks to us about his college days and how his time at UCC helped him to start a successful business.

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Geraldine O'Brien - Nursing

Geraldine O'Brien - Nursing

  • 29 Aug 2017

Geraldine O'Brien was born in Waterford and returned to college as a mature student at the age of 30 to complete the BSc Honours Degree in General Nursing in 2016. Since then she has travelled to Uganda three times as a volunteer nurse and currently works in the renowned Kings College Hospital in London as a staff nurse on a surgical ward that specializes in colorectal, urology and bariatric surgery. 

 

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Alison Donnelly Donnelly - Rugby Coach & Deputy Spokesperson to the British PM

Alison Donnelly Donnelly - Rugby Coach & Deputy Spokesperson to the British PM

  • 21 Aug 2017

Ali Donnelly is heavily involved in rugby as a coach and advocate and runs the award winning women's rugby website www.ScrumQueens.com. She is the Deputy Spokesperson to the British Prime Minister, Theresa May and runs the Downing Street Press Office. She began her career as a journalist for the Evening Echo in Cork, and has also worked for the BBC and HM Treasury.

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Becky Walsh - Editor - Booker Prize nominated novel

Becky Walsh - Editor - Booker Prize nominated novel

  • 14 Aug 2017

Becky Walsh is an Assistant Editor at John Murray Publishers, London. Her first acquisition ‘Elmet’ by Fiona Mozley has been long-listed for The Man Booker Prize. Becky talks to us about the friends she made in UCC and how her degree led to a career in publishing.

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Aoife Miskelly - Soprano

Aoife Miskelly - Soprano

  • 31 Jul 2017

Aoife Miskelly is a Northern Irish soprano who completed a BMus at UCC before training at the Royal Academy Opera as a Sickle Foundation Scholar. Her career as a full time opera singer has seen her perform in The Royal Opera House Muscat (as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady), the Cologne Opera House, Aix-en-Provence Festival and in the UK and Ireland. Aoife looks back on her time at UCC and how she went from singing in the Honan Chapel to performing on the world’s greatest stages.

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Rob Moloney - Composer, Sound Engineer and Lighting Designer

Rob Moloney - Composer, Sound Engineer and Lighting Designer

  • 24 Jul 2017

Rob Moloney is a composer, sound engineer and lighting designer. He was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award in 2014 for his design on Painted Bird's show ‘Between Trees and Water’. His work with THEATREclub led him to explore socio-political issues culminating in a move to Greece to volunteer in a refugee camp, Lesvos Solidarity - Pikpa. Rob describes how his time at UCC developed his interest in theatre, music, politics and social justice.

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Sarah Dineen - Founder of Amplify Digital Conference

Sarah Dineen - Founder of Amplify Digital Conference

  • 17 Jul 2017

Sarah Dineen is the founder of Amplify Digital Conference, Ireland’s Largest Digital Marketing Conference which takes place in Cork on 27 and 28 July. She is the owner of the digital marketing firm SocialQue and set-up her first business Uniwink, with the support of Ignite UCC. Sarah talks us to us about her time in UCC and rolling in the grass on the quad!

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Rebecca Murphy - Education & Training Co-ordinator at Jigsaw

Rebecca Murphy - Education & Training Co-ordinator at Jigsaw

  • 10 Jul 2017

Rebecca Murphy is the Education and Training Co-ordinator at Jigsaw, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health. Prior to this she worked as UCC’s Peer Assisted Student Support Co-ordinator.  She has a strong background in student politics serving as Welfare Officer in UCC Students' Union and Welfare Officer in Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Rebecca looks back on her student days and the skills she developed in college.

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Jill Downey - Managing Partner, Livewire

Jill Downey - Managing Partner, Livewire

  • 03 Jul 2017

Jill Downey is the Managing Partner at the sponsorship agency, Livewire. She is a board member and director of Core Media and former Deputy MD of media agency, Starcom. Her experience in the media industry included acting as strategic advisor to brands such as AIB, An Post, Musgraves, INM and Emirates. Jill talks to us about how a BSc in Cellular Physiology led to a career in advertising!

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Ross Frenett, is the Co-Founder and Director of Moonshot CVE

Ross Frenett, is the Co-Founder and Director of Moonshot CVE

  • 26 Jun 2017

Ross Frenett is the Co-Founder and Director of Moonshot CVE, a company which aims to use the power of technology to counter violent extremism. Prior to this Ross managed the Against Violent Extremism Network. Ross talks to us about his college days and how the skills he developed in the UCC Philosophical Society help him in his working life.

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Breffney O’Dowling-Keane -  Food Scientist, Chef and Blogger

Breffney O’Dowling-Keane - Food Scientist, Chef and Blogger

  • 19 Jun 2017

Breffney O’Dowling-Keane is a food scientist, chef and blogger. She is the creator of FruitCubed - an innovative product which blends fruit and vegetables into handy ready-to-eat cubes. Breffney talks to us about her time at UCC and how studying Food Science shaped her career path.

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Ann  Cleare - Composer

Ann Cleare - Composer

  • 12 Jun 2017

Ann Cleare is a composer working in the areas of concert music, opera, extended sonic environments and hybrid instrumental design. She also lectures in composition at the University of York. Her work has been presented by broadcasters such as the BBC and RTE and she recently featured in the New York Times in advance of her inclusion in the Composer Portraits series at Columbia University.

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John Doherty - Ultimate Frisbee Professional

John Doherty - Ultimate Frisbee Professional

  • 29 May 2017

UCC alum, John Doherty recently became the first Irish person to sign for a professional Ultimate Frisbee team when he joined the Seattle Cascades. As John embarks on an exciting season on the U.S. circuit he looks back at his time at UCC and how joining the Ultimate Club changed his life.

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Rose Servitova - Award-Winning Writer

Rose Servitova - Award-Winning Writer

  • 22 May 2017

Rose Servitova is an award-winning writer (as well as working as a job coach for people with disabilities). She is curating Jane Austen 200 - Limerick - a celebration of all things Georgian through theatre, screen, regency fashion, literature, architecture and music which is running from July to December 2017 Her book, The Longbourn Letters – The Correspondence between Mr Collins and Mr Bennet was published in April and can be purchased in paperback or Kindle at http://amzn.to/2l32hfv and from a number of bookshops.

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Tanya Ward - Chief Executive of the Children's Rights Alliance

Tanya Ward - Chief Executive of the Children's Rights Alliance

  • 29 May 2017

Tanya Ward is the Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance. She played a major role in the Children’s Referendum of 2012 and was also a former Vice President for the International Federation of Human Rights. She has a keen interest in international human rights monitoring and lectures widely on the topic. Tanya speaks to us about her time at UCC and how the Geography Department, UCC played an important role in shaping her career.

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David O’Connor - Conservation Ecologist at San Diego Zoo

David O’Connor - Conservation Ecologist at San Diego Zoo

  • 08 May 2017

David O’Connor is a community-based conservation ecologist based at San Diego Zoo. He travels the globe working on projects such as giraffe conservation and combating the illegal trade in animal parts. David talks to us about his time at UCC and how finding a book in the Boole library led him to a career in wildlife conservation.

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Julie Kelleher - Artistic Director, Everyman Theatre, Cork

Julie Kelleher - Artistic Director, Everyman Theatre, Cork

  • 02 May 2017

Julie Kelleher is Artistic Director of The Everyman Theatre, with responsibility for artistic strategy and programming. She has directed works for the Everyman stage including plays by Brian Friel and David Greig. She has also worked as a freelance producer, performer and vocalist and was a member of the BrokenCrow Creative Ensemble. Julie talks to us about her memories of UCC and how she treaded the boards at the Granary Theatre.

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Eoin French - Musician

Eoin French - Musician

  • 24 Apr 2017

Musician Eoin French creates his own haunting brand of electronica under the name Talos. His second single was featured in the ABC TV show ‘Guilt’ and he recently released his debut album ‘Wild Alee’ while embarking on a series of gigs around Ireland. An architecture graduate, Eoin now teaches in the Cork Centre for Architectural Education (CCAE). He talks to us about his time at UCC and how a background in architecture helps shapes his unique sound.

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Paul Moore - Co-founder, Rebel Chilli

Paul Moore - Co-founder, Rebel Chilli

  • 24 Apr 2017

Paul Moore set up the Rebel Chilli sauce brand while studying BIS at UCC. The spicy condiments are now stocked in over 300 stores across Ireland and the award winning company recently expanded its market into the UK and Dubai. Paul and his team have ambitious plans for development and recently added hot new additions to the range including Chillionaire, a five-chilli-rated sauce. Paul talks to us about how he balanced student life with managing a budding start-up.

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Colin Wong - Kayaker

Colin Wong - Kayaker

  • 11 Apr 2017

Colin Wong recently completed a 2,000 kilometre, 70-day kayaking trip across the Persian Gulf. Colin’s passion for kayaking has led him to paddle his way round the world including down the Zambezi River in Africa. Along with kayaking competitively, Colin has worked extensively in outdoor education and hopes to encourage more people in Cork to try the sport.

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Emerald de Leeuw - CEO, EuroComply

Emerald de Leeuw - CEO, EuroComply

  • 03 Apr 2017

Emerald de Leeuw is the CEO of EuroComply, a software company that helps companies manage their Data Protection compliance. She was recently named European Innovator of the Year 2017 by the European Commission, Parliament and EYIF in Brussels. Emerald is also a lecturer in Technology and Data Protection Law with the Law Society of Ireland.

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Orla Egan - Author and Creator of the Cork LGBT Archive

Orla Egan - Author and Creator of the Cork LGBT Archive

  • 28 Mar 2017

Orla Egan has been actively involved in the Cork LGBT community since the 1980's. She created the Cork LGBT Archive which aims to preserve and share the history of Cork’s LGBT community and recently won an award from The Heritage Council for her work. Orla is author of the book ‘Queer Republic of Cork’, available now in the Quay Co-op, Waterstones and Liam Russell’s Bookshop and online .

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Marc O’Reilly - Singer & Songwriter

Marc O’Reilly - Singer & Songwriter

  • 20 Mar 2017

Marc O’Reilly is a Medicine graduate turned singer-songwriter who is garnering critical acclaim in the music press. Marc’s sound blends folk, blues and roots alongside well-crafted lyrics making him one of the most exciting artists on the scene today. 

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Rosaleen Crowley - Poet and Artist

Rosaleen Crowley - Poet and Artist

  • 13 Mar 2017

Rosaleen Crowley is a poet and artist, based in Indiana, USA. Rosaleen reminisces about her time at UCC and how it ignited her love of poetry.

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Sujitra Youngme - Professor of Organic Chemistry

Sujitra Youngme - Professor of Organic Chemistry

  • 06 Mar 2017

An inspirational woman who was one of the first Thai students to study at UCC. Meet Sujitra Youngme, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.

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Sinead Kane - First blind athlete to complete World Marathon challenge

Sinead Kane - First blind athlete to complete World Marathon challenge

  • 27 Feb 2017

Sinead Kane is a keynote speaker, visually impaired athlete, record holder, brand ambassador to Allianz Ireland, qualified solicitor, writer with the Irish Criminal Law Journal and PhD researcher. Sinead recently became the first blind person to run 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days and she has just completed a 24 hour endurance race in Finland.

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Dominic MacHale - Actor

Dominic MacHale - Actor

  • 20 Feb 2017

Dominic MacHale began his acting career with the UCC Dramat while studying at UCC. He has worked extensively in theatre and on screen and recently wowed audiences with his turn as a crazed Garda in 'The Young Offenders' and his powerful portrayal of Michael Collins in 'A Great Arrangement'.

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Ciara Crosson - Founder of Weddingdates.ie

Ciara Crosson - Founder of Weddingdates.ie

  • 13 Feb 2017

Ciara Crossan, is the founder of Weddingdates.ie, a website which enables couples to book their wedding venue online. The company works with top venues throughout Ireland and the UK and to drive wedding revenue. Ciara is a regular speaker at conferences and events and was shortlisted as ‘Outstanding Entrepreneur‘ in the UK Women 1st SHINE Awards in 2013.

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Nadine O'Regan - Arts Editor at the Sunday Business Post

Nadine O'Regan - Arts Editor at the Sunday Business Post

  • 06 Feb 2017

Nadine O'Regan is Arts Editor with The Sunday Business Post. She presents Songs in the Key of Life on Today FM every Sunday from 9.00pm.

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Prof J Calvin Coffey - Chair of Surgery, UL

Prof J Calvin Coffey - Chair of Surgery, UL

  • 30 Jan 2017

Prof. Calvin Coffey made global headlines when he and his team identified the mesentery as a new human organ. His findings were published in the Lancet and medical students are now being taught that the mesentery is a distinct organ. Gray’s Anatomy has even been updated to include the new description of the mesentery. Prof. Coffey tells us how his time studying Anatomy at UCC led him to this exciting discovery.

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Laurence O' Rourke - Eurpoean Space Agency (ESA)

Laurence O' Rourke - Eurpoean Space Agency (ESA)

  • 23 Jan 2017

UCC alum, Laurence O’Rourke, is making his mark on European space exploration working as a Science Operations Co-ordinator with the Rosetta Mission. He even has an asteroid named in his honour. Laurence tells us how his time at UCC led to an exciting career with the ESA.

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Alumni of the Week - Ross O’Dwyer and Richard Barrett, Founders of Pundit Arena

Alumni of the Week - Ross O’Dwyer and Richard Barrett, Founders of Pundit Arena

  • 16 Jan 2017

UCC alumni, Ross O’Dwyer and Richard Barrett are the founders of Pundit Arena. The ambitious pair met on the UCC IGNITE programme and went on to create Pundit Arena, a sports media website powered by articulate fans, and aspiring and experienced sports journalists.

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Prof. David Cahill - Professor in Medical Education and Reproductive Medicine, University of Bristol

Prof. David Cahill - Professor in Medical Education and Reproductive Medicine, University of Bristol

  • 12 Dec 2016

We chat to UCC alum and leading gynaecologist, Prof. David Cahill who made history when he delivered a baby gorilla by caesarean. Vets at Bristol Zoo turned to Prof. Cahill, when the gorilla’s mother showed signs of life-threatening pre-eclampsia. Thanks to the expertise of Prof. Cahill and his team, the baby gorilla was delivered safely and now resides with her family at Bristol zoo.

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Sarah O'Connor - Co-Founder, Cool Beans

Sarah O'Connor - Co-Founder, Cool Beans

  • 06 Dec 2016

Queen Bean Sarah O'Connor, co-founder of award winning Irish start-up food company Cool Beans, chats to us about her student days in UCC.

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 Katherine Drohan - Producer, Late Late show

Katherine Drohan - Producer, Late Late show

  • 28 Nov 2016

Christmas is coming and the Toy Show is near! This Friday, Irish people young and old will be tuning in to watch the The Late Late Show which is produced by UCC alumnus Katherine Drohan. 

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JP McMahon - Michelin-Starred Chef

JP McMahon - Michelin-Starred Chef

  • 22 Nov 2016

Michelin-starred chef, restauranteur, author and art historian - JP McMahon is a true Renaissance man. His EatGalway restaurant group includes Aniar RestaurantCava Bodega, Eat Gastropub and Aniar Boutique Cookery School.

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Dr Seán McCarthy - Managing Director of Hyperion Ltd

Dr Seán McCarthy - Managing Director of Hyperion Ltd

  • 14 Nov 2016

Dr. Seán McCarthy, Managing Director of Hyperion Ltd trains research organisations how to develop their European Research and Innovation Strategies. He delivers training courses in 58 of the top 100 European Universities. Since 1995 over 65,000 people have attended his courses in 29 countries.

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Susan O'Keeffe - Investigative Journalist

Susan O'Keeffe - Investigative Journalist

  • 07 Nov 2016

Susan O'Keeffe is an investigative journalist and a former member of Seanad Eireann (2011-2016). She worked for many years with BBC Current Affairs and Granada TV's ‘World in Action’ series. Her ground-breaking documentary ‘Money for Nothing’ resulted in the Beef Tribunal that shocked Ireland in the 1990’s. Susan also made the programme ‘Sins of the Fathers’, the first to reveal abuse of children by Catholic priests.

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Rev Prof John Ryan - Bishop of Mzuzu, Malawi

Rev Prof John Ryan - Bishop of Mzuzu, Malawi

  • 02 Nov 2016

This week’s alumnus became the first Professor of Mathematics at the University of Mzuzu, Malawi and was recently appointed Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese. Bishop Ryan is a Kiltegan Father and has worked in Malawi for the past 40 years. He introduced the first PhD programme in Mathematics in Malawi and has a special interest in coding theory.

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Dr Jenny Butler -Lecturer, Study of Religions

Dr Jenny Butler -Lecturer, Study of Religions

  • 25 Oct 2016

With Halloween approaching, we speak to an alumnus with a special interest in the traditions surrounding the holiday. Dr Jenny Butler is a lecturer in the Study of Religions Department, UCC with an interest in Paganism and folklore.

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Ian Flanagan -  Commercial Director, Leicester City Football Club

Ian Flanagan - Commercial Director, Leicester City Football Club

  • 18 Oct 2016

This week’s graduate of the week was centre stage for Leicester City F.C.’s meteoric rise from the relegation zone in April 2015 to winners of the Premier League a year later. 

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Ruth Delaney - Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Ruth Delaney - Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

  • 11 Oct 2016

Sports injuries are part and parcel of being athlete (as Martin O’Neill knows well). Luckily athletes have doctors like our graduate of the week Ruth Delaney there to lend a helping hand. While still completing her training Ruth worked with the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots in her role as an orthopaedic surgeon and shoulder specialist.

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Michael Coughlan - Applied Mathematician

Michael Coughlan - Applied Mathematician

  • 04 Oct 2016

In a week when space has been at the forefront of everybody’s minds thanks to Elon Musk and his Mars plans, meet our graduate of the week, Michael Coughlan. While completing his Masters, Michael Coughlan and his team helped to solve a conundrum which has been plaguing researchers for years: the location of iron rich meteorites in the Antarctic. He is currently working towards a D.Phil (PhD) in Applied Mathematics at the University of Oxford at the Environmental Research DTP (Doctoral training partnership).

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Stefanie Preissner - Screenwriter, Playwright, Actor

Stefanie Preissner - Screenwriter, Playwright, Actor

  • 27 Sep 2016

Stefanie Preissner is a screenwriter, playwright and actor. Her six-part comedy-drama series, ‘Can’t Cope/Won’t Cope’ is now showing on RTE 2 on Monday nights at 10pm. Stefanie is a UCC Drama and Theatre Studies Graduate.

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Leah Hearne - Curator & Producer

Leah Hearne - Curator & Producer

  • 20 Sep 2016

Leah Hearne - Arts Festivals and Events Curator & Producer. 

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Paul O'Dwyer - Dental Surgeon

Paul O'Dwyer - Dental Surgeon

  • 17 Oct 2017

Paul O’Dwyer is a Dental Surgeon, and Group Clinical Advisor for Dental Care Ireland, a new Irish-owned network of established dental practices nationwide. He is also a part-time guest lecturer at the Institute of Leadership in the Royal College of Surgeons, and is a regular media commentator on oral health issues. Paul looks back fondly on his college days and gives some advice to today’s students!

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Elizabeth Reapy - Author

Elizabeth Reapy - Author

  • 23 Oct 2017

Mayo author, Elizabeth Reapy’s first novel ‘Red Dirt’ was the winner of this year’s Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. The novel tells the story of three young Irish people who emigrate to Australia, each hoping for redemption in the arid Australian landscape. Elizabeth talks to us about her time at UCC training to become a teacher and how it helped her pursue her dream of becoming a writer.

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Alex Petcu - Percussionist

Alex Petcu - Percussionist

  • 31 Oct 2017

Alex Petcu is quickly establishing himself both nationally and internationally as a percussionist of the finest calibre. He featured as a soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and was named as the National Concert Hall’s Rising Star recitalist. 

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