Spotlight 2018

Alison Kelly Roe

21 May 2018
Alison Kelly Roe - Milliner

UCC Law graduate, Alison Kelly Roe, qualified as a Solicitor in 1996 and worked in general practice before deciding to change career course. Her other lifelong love of creative design led her to the world of millinery and her business Alison Roe Millinery was born. Based in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Alison designs and creates hats and headpieces for special occasions using traditional millinery techniques as well as running a successful hat-hire business in-store and online at She talks to us about her college days.

Course / Subjects and year of graduation
Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.) 1992

Best Memory of University College Cork
One of them is definitely my time spent at the La Retraite accommodation on College Road, which made the transition from schoolgirl to college student very easy in those early days of first year with a great group of girls from all faculties and all counties becoming lifelong friends. In particular, I remember the reception the girls’ dates would receive when they arrived on the night of the college balls with their corsage and Leonidas Chocolates. All the girls would line up on the staircase as the girls going to the ball descended in their finery!!

How has your time at UCC helped you to get to where you are now?
That’s probably a little difficult to explain in view of the fact that I have found my way into a career completely different to my original degree! However, my time at UCC and the following years as a solicitor gave me the confidence to veer into a different creative path following motherhood, an ability to articulate my creative vision to clients and the business acumen to deal with the challenges of becoming a female entrepreneur when the country was still in recession.

Advice to current UCC students? 
Enjoy every minute of your time at UCC and no matter what subjects you choose to study, the experience and confidence gained is invaluable no matter where your career takes you! Follow your dreams and dreams CAN change direction – your first career can be a stepping stone to something even more fulfilling.

What person/people at UCC who had the most positive influence on you?
My fellow students in both Law and other faculties led to lifelong friendships borne from that shared first taste of adulthood and independence. Academically, Caroline Fennell, one of my Law Lecturers stands out in my memory as being a role model for my class of young female aspiring lawyers.

Were you involved in any Clubs or Societies?
No, but it didn’t stop me going to their annual balls!

Favourite UCC legend or superstition?
That has to be the innate fear of crossing the quad and failing exams!

Alumni and Development

Alumni agus Forbartha

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