Skip to main content

Analogue Love Stories

As part of a collaborative campaign with The Slow Camera Exchange, we asked couples who met in UCC to share their stories of love. Following an overwhelming response from UCC students and alumni, and with the help of award-winning photographer Artem Trofimenko, these unique and special stories were brought to life. Words by Jane Haynes

20 Mar 2023


It’s little wonder that the tickets for our college balls are always in such high demand – those fancy function rooms have been the site of many a UCC love story!

Indeed, it was at the Psychology Ball of 1993 where love first blossomed for Eimear and David, who were studying Psychology and History & Sociology respectively (both 1994) at UCC.

As the treasurer of the Psychology Society, Eimear had a spare ticket going for the ball and, with the help of mutual friend and society auditor Vincent, who went to secondary school in Charleville with David, an introduction was made. David of course said ‘yes’, sparks flew, and the rest, as they say, is history!

While the couple have been together for almost 30 years now, Eimear admits ‘it feels like we met five minutes ago’. During that time, she and David have enjoyed quite the adventure together, having spent periods living in Dublin, London and Sydney. They eventually settled in Ennis, Co. Clare, going on to tie the knot in September 2004 and welcoming their ‘fabulous’ daughter 10 years later.

While the Psych Ball will always hold magical memories for the couple, they also look back fondly upon their student days spent eating Lennox’s chips and drinking cheap red wine, and meeting up for dates outside the iconic Boole Library, where Eimear worked part-time.



‘UCC and a grumpy volcano brought us together’

We’ve heard of sparks flying, but when there is a volcanic explosion at the heart of a romance, you know it’s going to be special!

This was the case for Jed and Veronica (Ronnie), whose love story began back in 2010 while they were both attending UCC – Jed studying Zoology (2012) and Ronnie studying Ecology (2011).

While they first met in the lecture rooms of the Cooperage Building, it was during a field trip to the Algarve in April 2010 when the universe conspired to bring Jed and Ronnie together. Left grounded in Portugal due to the infamous Icelandic volcano eruption – and with a little encouragement from mutual friend Jonny – they hit it off, and their first date followed soon after, in the Strasbourg Goose, a favourite spot for the couple.

Upon graduating, Ronnie spent a year travelling across Australia and New Zealand, while Jed pursued further study in Germany. After reuniting in Exeter, UK to study teaching, Jed and Ronnie took off on their next adventure together, moving to Dubai for two years to teach and travel around Asia.

But Cork was calling, and in July 2019 the couple moved back home, with Jed starting his PhD in UCC and Ronnie taking up a teaching position in Midleton. Wedding bells soon followed, and the couple have since tied the knot, bought a house, and are living happily in east Cork.

UCC still has the fondest memories for the couple; while Ronnie jokingly recalls her ‘terror’ at getting a spin on the handlebars of Jed’s bike while they cycled to lectures together, Jed can still recall the exact desk where they first met – and walks past it every day on his way to the office!

Reflecting on their unique love story, Ronnie says: ‘A seemingly random eruption of an Icelandic volcano changed our lives in the best way!’



‘No matter how many times we visit campus, we always spend a few minutes at the Quad, still taking it all in!’

While Karen and Evander’s love story began thousands of miles away from Cork, UCC has played a starring role, setting the scene for some of their most special and cherished milestones and memories.

Karen and Evander, who are both originally from India, met at a youth event back in 2014. After an idyllic first date spent motorbiking out to a lake, sparks flew, and the rest is history!

While 2020 was a challenging year for us all, it proved to be momentous for Karen and Evander, who decided to move to Ireland to pursue further study. That September, in the midst of the pandemic, the couple relocated to Cork to undertake their master’s degrees – Karen in Work and Organisational Behaviour, and Evander in Corporate Finance. 

Karen and Evander both graduated in 2021, and they ‘cherish’ the memories of their UCC conferrings.

‘When we started dating, we never imagined being able to study together at the same university that would change our lives for the best. Looking back, there is not a thing about it that we would change!’ says Karen.

Naturally, the Quad holds special meaning for the couple too, as she adds: ‘It’s a place that is a constant reminder of how privileged we’ve been to be able to witness this journey together. No matter how many times we visit campus, we always spend a few minutes at the Quad, still taking it all in!’

And Karen and Evander’s Irish adventure doesn’t end here – in fact, the couple, who are now both in full-time jobs, have made up their minds on calling Cork ‘home’ and recently moved into a new apartment together! 

‘Having met in 2014, when we were only still figuring out our careers and life as individuals, to making some big life decisions together, to travelling miles away from home to study at UCC amidst the peak of the pandemic, to recently moving in together – we have certainly come a long way!’ says Karen.



‘We quickly became best friends, which wasn’t hard to do’

Sometimes, in love, the universe appears to play a hand in bringing two soulmates together – and that seems to have been the case for Rachael and Jerry, who met on their very first day at UCC.

Indeed, luck was on their side during orientation when Rachael (BSc Microbiology, 2015) and Jerry (BSc Neuroscience, 2014) were put together as part of a group for a tour of campus. The pair hit it off immediately, quickly discovering that as well as having a lot in common, they were also well able to make each other laugh.

That’s not to say the first date went smoothly, though, with Rachael mistaking the invitation for a ‘friendly group thing’ and inviting a third person along! The second attempt, Burger King and a trip to the cinema to see Tangled, went according to plan, however – despite Rachael asking Jerry ‘what are you doing?!’ when he tried to hold her hand!

Rachael and Jerry’s romance went from strength to strength, with both pursuing further study in UCC (they both studied the MSc Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation – Jerry graduating in 2016, and Rachael graduating in 2017). In 2018, Jerry proposed, and two years later the couple tied the knot in UCC’s stunning Honan Chapel. They chose to settle in Cork, and still live close to their alma mater, by the Lough.

They have plenty of beautiful memories from their cherished time at UCC, from heading to the Science Ball with their friends to taking time out to enjoy peaceful walks along the river in front of the Glucksman. And Rachael still smiles when she thinks back to the day when she ‘ambushed’ Jerry into meeting her parents, giving him five minutes’ notice, and leaving him a nervous wreck!

As if that wasn’t enough romance for us, one of the couple’s fondest memories is of helping their friend to propose to her now wife, decorating outside of the Main Rest with paper and ribbons! 



‘We used to love getting coffees together in the Student Centre before lectures’

The old saying tells us that the happiest marriages blossom out of the best friendships, so it’s safe to say that the future is looking bright and full of marital bliss for this recently engaged UCC couple!

Marguerite and Adam first met in UCC in 2016, while both studying Social Science. After hitting it off in a Sociology lecture in the Geography Building, they decided to get to know each other over a coffee – until, that is, ‘half the class’ decided to join them! The group date situation killing any romantic buzz for the pair that day, they tried again a few days later – this time, thankfully, unaccompanied – with a walk through the beautiful surrounds of Fitzgerald’s Park.

After a bit of back-and-forth between dating and friendship, Marguerite and Adam made it official and have now been together for nearly five years. And Adam made this past Christmas an extra special one by getting down on one knee and proposing to Marguerite, with the loved-up couple now planning their wedding.

Needless to say, Marguerite and Adam – who graduated together in 2018 – hold very fond memories of UCC. While pre-lecture coffee dates in the Student Centre were a highlight of their time spent together during their studies, Marguerite still gets a kick out of the memory of Adam falling asleep in their lectures after his night shifts at work!

We’re wishing a lifetime of happiness to Marguerite and Adam ahead of their big day.



‘We’re engaged and moving to Belgium after graduation!’

If the Quad is claiming ‘main character energy’ in the tales of UCC alumni, then surely College Road plays a strong supporting role … Nina and Vicky’s love story certainly proves this!

The universe conspired to bring Nina, who is studying Law, and Vicky, who is studying Arts (English and Politics), together at a house party on the famed campus location – a ‘classic meeting spot’, as Nina says.

The two hit it off immediately and, after a successful first date at a flea market, romance blossomed. Between study sessions at the library during lockdown to spring picnics on the grass by the Boole, Nina and Vicky’s relationship went from strength to strength, and they moved in together soon after – going on to welcome their adorable pet hamster, Josie!

And there are many more exciting adventures ahead for the couple – now engaged, Nina and Vicky are happily planning their wedding and a move to Belgium after graduation!



‘We’ve been together for four years now, and are expecting our first baby’

While so many of us are intimidated by the very thought of entering the maze that is the O’Rahilly Building, as the scene of their very first meeting and many pre-class coffee dates, it brings nothing but sweet memories for Vanessa and Seamus!

It was at the meet-up of the Master’s Introduction Day in ORB when Vanessa – studying the MSc in International Public Policy and Diplomacy – and Seamus – studying the MSc in Government and Politics – were first introduced. With some lectures and friends in common, the pair got to know each other, and a first date at another Cork institution, Tom Barry’s, followed.

‘Seamus paid, but I had offered to pay as well – he confessed that that was a good sign for him!’ says Vanessa.

From there, Vanessa and Seamus’s relationship blossomed, with the couple moving in together at the end of their first semester, and going on to celebrate their graduation in February 2020. Now together four years, the couple – who love to travel – have gone on many adventures together … with the most exciting one yet around the corner, as they prepare to welcome their first child!

Vanessa and Seamus have many fond memories of their time at UCC, from pre-lecture Starbucks dates (iced coffee with three shots for him, mocha for her) to Vanessa lending enthusiastic support by laughing at Seamus’s opening jokes during a class presentation!

They say that opposites attract, and while Vanessa admits that she and Seamus are very different, one thing they share is their unwavering support and encouragement for each other, both personally and professionally.

As they prepare to welcome the new addition to their family in June, we wish them all the luck and happiness in the world.



‘It is great to be able to come to work every day in a place that holds so many memories’

The New Bar has surely been the scene of countless dates over the years, but for this UCC couple, the origins of their love story began behind the bar.

Úna and Cian first met in 2003 while they were both working in the Student Centre’s New Bar. Cian – who had completed his BA in 2002 – was finishing up his HDip in Education, while Úna, a fellow Arts scholar, was just beginning her own studies.

The pair started off as friends, sharing many wonderful memories from their time working in one of the most popular spots on campus, particularly on busy student nights and staff Christmas parties. Úna recalls: ‘There was a great team working in the bar at the time, and we all had good fun. We have remained friends with lots of the team, and regularly meet up.’

It wasn’t until years later, when both Úna and Cian had returned from travelling and living abroad, that romance blossomed. After bumping into one another on a night out, a date was arranged – and the rest is history. The couple are now happily married and have two wonderful children.

After a recent career change, Úna – who also went on to complete the MA in Planning and Sustainable Development (2008) at UCC – is now working in the university, and says: ‘It is great to be back on campus and be able to come to work every day in a place that holds so many memories.’



‘We said “goodbye” at the Main Gates on Western Road, where we had our first kiss’

During the pandemic lockdown, at a time when we were never so far away from our university community, two students were brought together in a thoroughly modern love story.

Hanke (Arts, 2022) and John (Applied Psychology, 2021) met on Tinder in September 2020 and arranged their first date shortly after. Both UCC students, and with COVID significantly limiting their options, they chose the grounds of their alma mater for their first date. The Main Gates served as their meeting point as well as the spot where they shared their first kiss, and subsequent lockdown dates were spent chatting and getting to know one another by the Hub and the Glucksman.

Hanke and John’s relationship blossomed throughout the pandemic and, naturally, the campus holds many special memories for them – particularly the picturesque spot by the Glucksman, along the river, where the couple enjoyed chats and delicious vegan kebabs on the bench.

‘We just sat there with the food and talked and had a nice time in a pretty spot,’ she says, fondly.

When the world began to open up again, Hanke, who is originally from Germany, was delighted to be able to bring John home to meet her family – a visit which they repeated together the following summer.

Now living together close to UCC, the couple are currently undertaking their respective postgraduate studies in the university. Hanke, who is completing an MA in English-Modernities, admits that her relationship with John – who is in the second year of a PhD in Applied Psychology – played a major factor in her decision to pursue her studies in Cork.


The Slow Camera Exchange is a Cork-based project that facilitates access to a selection of analogue cameras for a cohort of intergenerational groups. Visit the dedicated website for further information.

Photography: Artem Trofimenko, The Slow Camera Exchange

Previous Issues

Office of Marketing and Brand Impact

Margaíocht agus Tionchar Branda

East Wing, Main Quadrangle, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland