News 2023

Presidential Visit to UCC

6 Mar 2023
President of Ireland, Michael D.Higgins and President of Malta, H.E. Dr George Vella met with ERI researchers recently.

President of Ireland, Michael D.Higgins and President of Malta, H.E. Dr George Vella met with BEES researchers at UCC recently.

University College Cork (UCC) welcomed the President of Ireland, Michael D.Higgins, his wife Ms Sabina Higgins, and President of Malta, H.E. Dr George Vella, and his wife Mrs Miriam Vella to the university campus recently. During their visit, they had the opportunity to hear about research carried out at the School of BEES and the ERI.

President Higgins and President Vella received a presentation from researchers at UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI). Representing strategic marine research in the University, Professor Andy Wheeler and Dr Sharron Lynch from the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences were asked to present to the President of Malta on behalf of the Environmental Research Institute. Stressing collaborative links with the University of Malta and European Policy Initiatives Professor Andy Wheeler presented the first Geomorphological Map of the Irish Shelf Sea and research into developing a European capability to environmentally monitor the impacts of deep sea mining. 

Dr. Sharon Lynch's research involves the development of mitigation strategies to reduce the impact of pathogens and diseases, as well as climate change stressors, to support the sustainable growth of the Irish shellfish sector.

During their visit, President Higgins and President Vella visited the Honan Chapel. Consecrated in 1916, a turbulent year in Irish history, the Honan Chapel is considered a jewel in the crown of twentieth century Irish art and architecture, with its collection including fine examples of the artworks of the Irish Revival, and Irish Arts and Crafts practice. It recently underwent a major renovation.

President Higgins and President Vella also met UCC students and Maltese students studying in Cork. “It is an honour to welcome President Higgins, Ms Sabina Higgins, President Vella, and Mrs Miriam Vella to UCC,” stated Professor John O’Halloran, President of UCC. “We warmly welcome them to our campus to view some of our treasures, meet our students, and hear about our leading environmental research.”

On World Book Day, President Higgins and President Vella viewed The Great Book of Ireland, (Leabhar Mór na hÉireann) which has been described as ‘Ireland’s modern-day Book of Kells.’ It is a modern vellum manuscript comprising the original work of 121 artists, 144 poets and nine composers. Samuel Beckett’s last handwritten poem is among the works in this extraordinary 278-page single volume manuscript, which also includes poems by Seamus Heaney and a poet in his late forties, one Michael D. Higgins, the current President of Ireland.

The delegation also viewed The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, which was published by UCC’s Cork University Press (CUP), and its 728 pages and over 1,000 images offer a new and extraordinary insight into a defining period in Irish history. Much acclaimed, The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine was awarded the Best Irish Book of the Year for 2012, proving to be one of CUP’s most popular books ever, with over 22,000 copies sold. The book was developed into a documentary, ‘The Hunger’, a co-production by UCC, RTÉ, and ARTE, the European Culture Channel, and was narrated by Liam Neeson.

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences

An Scoil Eolaíochtaí Bitheolaíocha, Domhaneolaíocha agus Comhshaoil

Distillery Fields, North Mall, University College Cork, Ireland , T23 N73K.