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1840 - 1849 The 1840's

1845 The Colleges (Ireland) Act

The Colleges (Ireland) Act also known as the Queen's College Act becomes law. Queen’s College Cork (QCC) formally came into existence on 30 December 1845 by a royal charter of incorporation, which ordained that ... Read more

1845 The Colleges (Ireland) Act

"in or near the City of Cork in our province of Munster in Ireland there shall be and may be erected and established one perpetual College for students in Arts Law Physic and other useful learning which College shall be called by the name of 'Queen's College Cork' and shall consist of one president, one vice-president and such number of professors in Arts Law and Physic not exceeding Twelve in number..."

1849 QCC Formally Opened

Sir Robert Kane, President, formally opens QCC and states that "Here, after nearly a thousand years, we open now the portals of this edifice and accept the task of training the youth of Munster"

1849 QCC Formally Opened

115 students enrol with Richard Bullen, son of Professor Denis Bullen first professor of surgery, becoming the first registered student of QCC.

1850 - 1859 The 1850's

1850 Number of Students 150

1860 - 1869 The 1860's

1862 West Wing Fire

On 15 May 1862, the West Wing of the Quadrangle is almost completely destroyed by fire.

1862 West Wing Fire

Conspiracy Theories Abound ... Read more

1862 West Wing Fire

The fire inspired a number of conspiracy theories with the finger pointed, for a time, at President Kane’s steward William Williams. The College offered a reward of £150 relating to any information to the fire, described by Kane as ‘malicious and contrived with elaborate ingenuity’. While the West Wing fire marks an important event in the history of the university, no conclusive evidence has ever been uncovered which points to the true culprit.

To this day, the £150 reward remains unclaimed.

1864 Death of George Boole

Death of George Boole, first professor of mathematics, QCC. Boole, QCC/UCC’s most renowned Professor, laid the foundations of the information age. ... Read more

1864 Death of George Boole

His pivotal advances in mathematics, logic and probability provided the essential groundwork for modern mathematics, microelectronic engineering and computer science. His influence is such that he has been called the Father of the Digital Age. In 2015 UCC marked the bicentennial of his birth. See for more details.

1870 - 1879 The 1870's

1873 Appointment of William K. Sullivan as President of QCC (1873-1890)

1875 The Medical (Windle) Building is completed

1880 - 1889 The 1880's

1880 Crawford Observatory completed

The Crawford Observatory was completed in 1880 ... Read more

1880 Crawford Observatory completed

The university acquired the observatory through the generosity of several benefactors. One of them, William Crawford, contributed £1,000 towards the construction and the purchase of astronomical instruments. The instruments in the Observatory were designed by Sir Howard Grubb.

Grubb was an optical designer from Dublin. He was the head of a family firm that made large optical telescopes, telescope drive controls, and other optical instruments. He is also noted for his work to perfect the periscope and inventing the reflector sight.

The Equatorial Telescope, designed by Grubb, located on the top floor of the observatory won the gold medal at the Paris Science Exhibition in 1878.

1885 Female Students first admitted to QCC

1889 College Coat of Arms

College Coat of Arms granted by Ulster King of Arms ... Read more

1889 College Coat of Arms

The crest comprises the Royal Lion; the three ancient sub-divisions of Munster (the Desmond, the Ormond and Thomond); the arms of the City of Cork; and the open book of learning.

1890 - 1899 The 1890's

1890 Appointment of James W. Slattery as President of QCC

1896 Appointment of Sir Roland Blennerhaisset as President of QCC

1898 Staff Numbers

In 1898 QCC had 16 Professors, six Lecturers and two Demonstrators. Lectures started at 9am and ended at 3pm.

1900 - 1909 The 1900's

1900 Number of Students 178

1904 Appointment of Sir Bertram A.C. Windle as President of QCC

1908 Irish Universities Act 1908

The Irish Universities Act is passed in to law ... Read more

1908 Irish Universities Act 1908

The act abolishes the Royal University and establishes the National University of Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast.

Queen's College Cork becomes University College Cork (UCC).

1910 - 1919 The 1910's

1910 Appointment of Professor Mary Ryan

Mary Ryan is appointed Professor of Romance Languages, the first female professor in Ireland.

1910 Commissioning of the College Mace

The College Mace is commissioned to symbolise the authority of the new UCC. ... Read more

1910 Commissioning of the College Mace

The commissioning of the Mace by President Windle represented the creation of the first piece of silver in the City for over 100 years. The proceeds are used to set up scholarships to train in new Silversmiths many of whom worked on some of the Honan Treasures created post 1916.

1911 Mardyke Athletic Grounds

UCC acquires the lease of the Mardyke Athletic Grounds ... Read more

1911 Mardyke Athletic Grounds

for ‘the purpose of all kinds of sports that would greatly enhance the credit and popularity of the College in the city and district’. The grounds were purchased outright in 1922.

1916 Honan Chapel is built

The Honan Chapel is an exquisite example of revival Hiberno-Romanesque architecture. ... Read more

1916 Honan Chapel is built

Modelled on such templates as Cormac’s Chapel on the Rock of Cashel and St Cronan’s Church at Roscrea, the Honan Chapel brilliantly reflects the best skills of the Arts-and-Crafts Movement of the early Twentieth Century, a time of conscious Celtic Revival. This is evident in the beautiful features of the interior – 19 radiant stained-glass windows (11 of which were designed by renowned artist Harry Clarke with the remaining eight designed by the studio of Sarah Pursor), the exotic mosaics of the tiled floor designed by the Oppenheiner family, the beautiful enamelled tabernacle and the various liturgical and rubrical furnishings.

1919 Appointment of Patrick J. Merriman as President of UCC

1920 - 1929 The 1920's

1920 Number of Students 660

1925 Dr A. W. Patterson, first woman ever to receive a DMus appointed to lectureship

1928 Dairy Science Building

President of the Executive Council of Ireland W.T. Cosgrave lays the foundation stone for the Dairy Science Building.

1929 Western Road Ceremonial Gates

New entrance gates and bridge completed.

1930 - 1939 The 1930's

1930 Appointment of Daniel Corkery as Professor of English

Because of his writings, in particular ... Read more

1930 Appointment of Daniel Corkery as Professor of English

The Hidden Ireland, Corkery has been central to the national debate about history and culture and he has been a seminal ideological and literary influence on Modern Ireland.

1934 St Finbarr's Statue

Statue of St Finbarr replaces that of Queen Victoria on the Aula Maxima ... Read more

1934 St Finbarr's Statue

While Ireland obtained its independence from Britain in 1921 the statue of Queen Victoria remained on top of the Aula Maxima until 1934 when the atmosphere in Ireland had become one of fervent nationalism. It was removed and replaced by a statue of St Finbarr designed by celebrated Cork Sculptor Seamus Murphy. There had also been a general feeling for years that the symbol of an ‘alien’ institution should be replaced by the Patron Saint of the Diocese and the College.

Victoria’s statue was then stored in an office in the East Wing for over a decade and then buried – in 1946 - in the President’s Garden. The statue was recovered and displayed during the 150th anniversary of the establishment of UCC.

It is now housed in the Graduates Room.

1939 Retirement of Professor Mary Ryan

Professor Mary Ryan retires from office as Professor of Romance Languages

1940 - 1949 The 1940's

1942 UCC acquires part of the Old County Gaol site

1943 Appointment of Alfred O'Rahilly as President of UCC

1946 Progress under O'Rahilly

The O'Rahilly presidency saw the completion of the new College Restaurant, the establishment of the Student Health Service and the introduction of Adult Education Courses.

1950 - 1959 The 1950's

1954 Appointment of Henry St. John Atkins as President of UCC

1958 UCC acquires the remaining interest of the old County Gaol Site

1960 - 1969 The 1960's

1963 Appointment of Seán O'Riada as Lecturer in Music

1964 Appointment of John J. McHenry as President of UCC

1967 Science (Kane) Building is comissioned

1967 Appointment of Michael D. McCarthy as President of UCC

1970 - 1979 The 1970's

1970 Number of Students 3,181

1972 Development Plan for UCC launched

Perhaps the principal McCarthy legacy, and the one which reflected his visionary approach, was the College Development Plan of 1972. ... Read more

1972 Development Plan for UCC launched

This was a twenty-year plan of physical development around the original buildings, with an extended campus. The plan provided for a student population expanding from its 1972 base of about 4,000 students to 7,000 twenty years ahead. Whilst the plan was modified in subsequent years its broad focus remains valid to this day.

1977 Áras na Laoi, formerly La Retraite purchased

1978 Appointment of Tadhg Ó Ciardha as President of UCC

1980 - 1989 The 1980's

1982 Boole Library completed on the site of the former UCC Quarry

1989 Appointment of Michael P. Mortell as President of UCC

1990 - 1999 The 1990's

1990 Number of Students 6,972

1994 Castlewhite Student Apartments completed

1995 Áras na Mac Léinn (UCC Student Centre) completed

1996 Undergraduate Fees abolished

1997 Universities Act, 1997

The Universities Act, 1997 is passed giving UCC full university independence.

1998 The O'Rahilly Building is opened on the site of the former Honan Hostel

1999 Appointment of Gerard T. Wrixon as President of UCC

2000 - 2009 The 2000's

2000 Number of Students 11,545

2001 Foundation stone for the Biosciences Institute is laid

2003 University of the Year

UCC is named the Sunday Times University of the Year.

2004 Lewis Glucksman Gallery opened by President Mary McAleese

2005 University of the Year

UCC is named the Sunday Times University of the Year for the second time.

2007 Appointment of Michael B. Murphy as President of UCC

2009 Western Gateway Building completed

2010 - 2019 The 2010's

2010 Junctionless Transistor Developed

The world's first junctionless transistor is developed at the Tyndall National Institute.

2010 Green Campus Award

UCC becomes the first third level education institute worldwide to receive the Green Campus award ... Read more

2010 Green Campus Award

See for more details.

2015 Bicentennial of the birth of George Boole

UCC celebrates the birth of George Boole with a year-long celebration of Boole's life and his legacy. ... Read more

2015 Bicentennial of the birth of George Boole

See for further details.

2016 University of the Year

UCC is named the Sunday TImes University of the Year for the fourth time.

2017 Number of Students stands in excess of 21,000

2017 University of the Year

UCC is named Sunday Times University of the Year for a record fifth time since the inception of the award.

2017 Appointment of Professor Patrick G. O'Shea as the 15th President of UCC.

2017 Launch of Strategic Plan

UCC announces a record €350 million investment for the development of Campus Infrastructure for the period 2017-2022 ... Read more

2017 Launch of Strategic Plan

See: Independent Thinking, Shared Ambition for more information.

2018 The Economic and Societal Impact of University College is launched

... Read more

2018 The Economic and Societal Impact of University College is launched

The report demonstrates the significant and important impact which UCC contributes to the economy of Cork and the South West and the national economy of Ireland.

2018 UCC's Academic Strategy 2018-2022 is launched

The Academic Strategy provides a framework to support and guide UCC in shaping its curriculum offering, in enrolment planning and in academic governance for the years ahead... ... Read more

2018 UCC's Academic Strategy 2018-2022 is launched

The strategy will allow for student learning and research to be facilitated through a Connected Curriculum that aligns with demand, university priorities and effective assessment practices.

2020 - 2029 The 2020's

2020 The Hub Opens

The Hub will create a new and inclusive social dynamic at the centre of the campus which will facilitate learning communities, networking, student interaction, internationalisation, and student friendly service provision. ... Read more

2020 The Hub Opens

Located at the heart of our campus, the former Windle Building will be a key enabler for the UCC Academic Strategy 2018-2022 by providing new places for creativity, innovation, and collaboration across disciplines, in a supportive environment. It will directly contribute to the delivery of Goal One in the UCC 2017-2022 Strategic Plan, by supporting the creation of 'a seamless student-centred administrative, academic and extracurricular experience.' Visit:

2020 COVID-19

Following a Government directive, universities close their physcial campuses. UCC's digital estate ensures a smooth transition to remote teaching and learning and working from home. 

2021 UCC 2022 - Delivering a Connected University

In January 2021 the university adopts UCC 2022: Delivering a Connected University to replace the final two years of the Strategic Plan 2017‐2022 Independent Thinking – Shared Ambition. ... Read more

2021 UCC 2022 - Delivering a Connected University

This decision is an important step towards ensuring UCC’s long-term sustainability and positioning to respond to emerging opportunities and challenges in the context of geopolitical challenges, the escalating climate crisis and societal and economic pressures associated with the COVID‐19 pandemic. UCC 2022 embraces  five important themes: Learning and Teaching; Research and Innovation; Student Success; People and Organisational Culture; and Infrastructure and Resources, underpinned by our commitment to sustainability, equality, diversity and inclusion and external engagement.

2021 Rankings Success

In April 2021 UCC was ranked 8th in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, placing it as Ireland’s leading university for its impact in working towards creating a sustainable future.

2021 Appointment of Professor John O'Halloran as the 16th President of UCC.

Professor O’Halloran served as Interim President since September 2020, leading the University through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... Read more

2021 Appointment of Professor John O'Halloran as the 16th President of UCC.

Prior to his appointment in August 2021 as President of UCC, Professor O’Halloran served as Deputy President & Registrar

2021 UCC Rainbow Walk

In October 2021 UCC unveils its Rainbow Walk in celebration of National Coming Out Day. ... Read more

2021 UCC Rainbow Walk

A collaboration between the UCC LGBT+ Staff Network, UCC LGBTQ Society, and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit, the walkway symbolises the progress made at UCC and nationally since the first LGBT+ staff and student groups were established in the 1980s.

2021 On Campus Conferrings Return

For the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 on-campus conferrings take place.

2022 UCC honours its first female engineering graduate

UCC renames its Civil Engineering Building the Iris Ashley Cummins building, in honour of UCC’s first female engineering graduate. ... Read more

2022 UCC honours its first female engineering graduate

Iris Ashley Cummins (centre, holding trophy), born in Glanmire Co. Cork in 1894, graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from UCC in 1915 and would become the first female land surveyor for the Irish Land Commission and the first female Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Ireland. Iris was also a talented hockey player, representing both UCC and Ireland at senior level.

The announcement marks Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on 24 February

2022 Donation of original copy of 1916 Proclamation to UCC

UCC is generously gifted a first issue copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic ... Read more

2022 Donation of original copy of 1916 Proclamation to UCC

This copy of The Proclamation has an impeccable provenance, known to have been brought directly from the General Post Office (GPO) during Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising. 

2022 The Irish Civil War National Conference

On 15-18 June 2022, University College Cork hosts a national conference to mark the centenary of the Irish Civil War. ... Read more

2022 The Irish Civil War National Conference

The Conference sought neither a single agreed narrative, nor indeed a sense of ‘closure’. Instead, it gathered together the fruits of on-going academic research into the conflict. In doing so, it sought to accomplish what the government's Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations describes as, ‘meaningful engagements with a difficult and traumatic time’. 

2022 UCC Professor named first Irish winner of prestigious international physics award

... Read more

2022 UCC Professor named first Irish winner of prestigious international physics award

In October 2022 Séamus Davis, Professor of Quantum Physics at UCC, is named as the recipient of the Oliver E. Buckley Prize in Condensed Matter Physics – one of the most prestigious awards in world science.  Presented annually since 1953, a total of 18 recipients of the Buckley Prize have also won the Nobel Prize in Physics in the past 69 years.

2022 Richard Harris Archives donated to UCC

... Read more

2022 Richard Harris Archives donated to UCC

The collection spans over 50 years in the life of the world-celebrated Irish actor.

Among the archives are Richard’s personal creative writing manuscripts including poetry, publicity and location photos from his screen and stage performances including Camelot, The Field, Pirandello’s Henry IV and as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films. 

2023 Securing our Future

UCC launches its new strategic plan in February 2023. ... Read more

2023 Securing our Future

Securing Our Future: UCC Strategic Plan 2023–2028 positions the University optimally in an environment of rapid change and reflects our commitment to a sustainable future for our people, planet and university.

2024 UCC secures fifth Green Flag

... Read more

2024 UCC secures fifth Green Flag

UCC becomes the first university in the world to secure five Green Flags

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