Protocols and Policies

Protocols and Policies

The sections on this page are intended to advise all colleagues in UCC of the protocols and policies to be followed when planning events at UCC.

These protocols and policies have been developed and agreed to ensure consistently high standards at events in UCC and that key guests of the University are treated with due respect and courtesy.

If advice or guidance on any aspect of planning an event is required, please contact the Office of Marketing & Communications, UCC,
Tel: +353 21 490 3676/2202 , E-mail: events@ucc.ie

Protocol for VIP visits to UCC

The following are considered key visitors (VIPs) to the university and should be treated in accordance with this protocol:

  • The President of Ireland
  • Lord Mayor of Cork
  • County Mayor of Cork
  • An Taoiseach
  • An Tánaiste
  • Government Ministers and MEPs (Irish and international)
  • International Heads of State
  • Senior officials of the European Commission and European Parliament
  • Irish and international Ambassadors
  • CEOs of key university stakeholders and current/potential corporate and industry partners
  • CEOs and Editors of Irish and international newspapers and news media
  • Members of the Irish Supreme Court
  • Irish and international university Presidents/Chancellors/Vice Chancellors
  • Senior officials from UCC’s joint partners
  • Irish and international “celebrities” from the worlds of entertainment, sports, the arts, science, etc.

Invitations to the President of Ireland, Irish Government Ministers including An Taoiseach, and MEPs to attend or officiate at a UCC event (or event organised on behalf of UCC) may only be issued by the President of UCC. 

In this case, a letter of invitation to the VIP is drafted by the “host” UMT member or organiser and forwarded to the President’s Office for approval/comment and issue.  The President’s Office will liaise with the host/organisers once a response is received from the VIP.

All colleges/schools/departments/units/centres will notify the President’s Office by email at the earliest opportunity (minimum one month) to advise and agree a date in the President’s diary for a visit of a VIP.


This email should include the following details:

  • Title and purpose of the visit/event
  • Date, time, expected duration and venue(s) of the visit/event
  • Details of the VIP’s role
  • Details of the President’s role
  • Running order of the visit/event
  • Visit/Event’s “host” UMT member
  • Contact details for visit/event’s organiser
  • Other potential VIP invitees

If the President is unavailable on a suggested date, a Deputy President may be offered to officiate in the President’s place but please note that certain high-profile, strategic visits/events may need to be rescheduled to ensure the President’s availability and participation.

No less than one week prior to the visit/event, a written, detailed event brief providing the following information should be forwarded by email to the President’s Office by the organisers:

  • Visit/event’s start and finish time
  • Running order of event and order of speakers
  • Arrival and departure time of VIP
  • Details of who will meet the VIP on arrival and where
  • Prepared draft speech for the President to deliver
  • Contact details for the visit/event host
  • Details of the key speakers and guests
  • Background information on the project and people involved
  • The full invite list indicating attendees

Please note that specific protocols apply to visits of the City and County Mayor which will be provided directly by their offices and should be strictly adhered to.

Please note that within the city bounds, the Lord Mayor of Cork takes precedence over all others, with the exception of the President of Ireland.  However, if the visit/event is taking place beyond the city bounds, the County Mayor of Cork takes precedence.

The General Services Officer/General Services Duty Officers should be notified of visit/events involving an above-mentioned VIP at least one week in advance to ensure the safety and security of the VIP during the visit (Tel: 490 2951/2722, Email: m.mccormack@ucc.ie / gsdo@ucc.ie).

This protocol applies to and should be adhered by all colleges, schools, departments and units within UCC.

Advice and guidance in relation to this protocol, including order of speakers, seating order, etc., is available from the Office of Marketing & Communications, UCC (Tel: 490 3676/2202, Email: events@ucc.ie).



 

Protocol for Presidential, Taoiseach, Ministerial & MEP visits to UCC

Invitations to the President of Ireland, An Taoiseach, Irish Government Ministers or Irish MEPs to attend or officiate at a UCC event (or event organised on behalf of UCC) may only be issued by the President of UCC.

For this reason, any college/school/department/unit/centre or student group wishing to invite the President of Ireland, An Taoiseach, an Irish Government Minister or MEP to attend or officiate at a UCC event must first advise UCC’s President’s Office in writing, providing the following information:

  • Title and purpose of the event
  • Date, time, expected duration and venue of the event
  • Details of the President/Taoiseach/Minister/MEP’s role
  • Details of the President of UCC’s role
  • Host UMT member

It is important to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for advising UCC’s President’s Office and issuing the letter to the President/Taoiseach/Minister/MEP in order to accommodate the President of Ireland/Taoiseach/Minister/MEP’s diary and secure the President of Ireland/Taoiseach/Minister/MEP’s agreement to attend or officiate at an event.  A minimum of 2-3 months is a suitable guide.

A letter of invitation to the President of Ireland/Taoiseach/Minister/MEP is drafted by the host college/school/department/centre/unit and forwarded to UCC’s President’s Office for approval/comment and issue.  UCC’s President’s Office will liaise with the host college/school/department/centre/unit once an official response has been received.

At least two weeks prior to the event, a written, detailed event brief providing the following information should be forwarded to the office of the President/Taoiseach/Minister/MEP and UCC’s President’s Office by the host college/school/department/centre/unit:

  • Start and finish time of the event
  • Running order of the event and order of speakers
  • President of Ireland/Taoiseach/Minister/MEP’s arrival and departure time
  • UCC’s President’s arrival and departure time
  • Details of the key speakers and guests
  • Background information on the project and people involved
  • If the event is followed by a reception/meal/refreshments, details of venue and time
  • Contact details for the event key organiser within the host college/school/department/centre/unit 

Any visit by the President of Ireland or An Taoiseach to UCC should begin with a welcome by UCC’s President in the President’s Office, including a signing of the Visitors’ Book by the President of Ireland/Taoiseach.

Similarly, a visit by a Minister or MEP to UCC should begin with a welcome by UCC’s President in the President’s Office, including a signing of the Visitors’ Book by the Minister/MEP.  This is especially important if the Minister is visiting the campus in an official capacity for the first time. 

However, if a Minister/MEP has visited UCC on more than one previous occasion, it may not be necessary to include the signing of the Visitors’ Book each time (for clarification, please contact the Office of Marketing & Communications, Tel: 3676/2202, Email: events@ucc.ie).

The General Services Officer/General Services Duty Officers should be notified of all visits by the President of Ireland/Taoiseach/Minister at least two weeks in advance to ensure the safety and security of the President/Taoiseach/Minister/MEP during the visit (Tel: 490 2951/2722, Email: m.mccormack@ucc.ie / gsdo@ucc.ie

Advice and guidance in relation to this protocol is available from the Office of Marketing & Communications, UCC (Tel: 490 3676/2202, Email: events@ucc.ie).

Protocol for Ambassadorial Visits to UCC

An Ambassador may be invited to visit UCC by any college/school/department/unit/ centre or student group. 

It is not necessary for an official invite to be issued to an Ambassador by the President.  However, it is customary for an Ambassador visiting UCC to pay a courtesy visit to the President and to sign the Visitors’ Book.

The President’s Office and the Office of Marketing & Communications should be advised, in writing, at least one month in advance of all ambassadorial visits to UCC.  The following information should be provided:

  • Name and a short biography of the Ambassador
  • Purpose of the visit
  • Date and time of the visit
  • Venues within UCC to be visited by the Ambassador
  • Details of previous visits to UCC by the Ambassador, if any
  • Details of who will accompany the Ambassador to UCC
  • Host UMT member and contact details of the main organiser within the host college/school/department/centre/unit

The organising college/school/department/centre/unit or student group should liaise directly with the President’s Office to agree a time for the Ambassador to pay a courtesy visit to the President. 

The General Services Officer/General Services Duty Officers should also be notified of all ambassadorial visits at least one week in advance to ensure the safety and security of the Ambassador during the visit (Tel: 490 2951/2722, Email: m.mccormack@ucc.ie / gsdo@ucc.ie).

Advice and guidance in relation to this protocol is available from the Office of Marketing & Communications, UCC (Tel: 490 3676/2202, Email: events@ucc.ie).



 

Protocol for Presidential attendance at UCC events

Any college/school/department/unit/centre requesting the President’s attendance or participation at an event should forward an email/letter of invitation to the President’s Office at the earliest opportunity, but no less than one month prior to the event, for confirmation of the President’s availability. 

If the President is unavailable on a suggested date, a Deputy President may be offered to officiate in the President’s place, but please note that certain high-profile, strategic events may need to be rescheduled to ensure the President’s availability and participation.

The email/letter of invitation should provide the following details:

  • Title and purpose of the event
  • Date, time, expected duration and venue of event
  • Key VIP/guest speaker(s) at the event
  • The President’s role at the event
  • Event’s “host” UMT member

The host college/school/department/unit/centre will be responsible for preparing the speech to be delivered by the President, which should be submitted to the President’s Office at least one week prior to the event for approval or comment.

One week prior to the event, a detailed event brief providing the following information should be forwarded to the President’s office:

  • Running order including all elements of the event and order of speakers
  • Start and finish time of the event
  • The President’s arrival and departure time
  • Key guests in attendance
  • Contact details for the event host or organiser
  • Background information on project, principals and funding involved
  • If a photographer been booked, details of the photographs to be taken
  • If the event is followed by a reception/dinner/refreshments, details of venue,  time and dinner guests where relevant

Advice and guidance in relation to this protocol is available from the Office of Marketing & Communications, UCC (Tel: 490 3676/2202, Email: events@ucc.ie).



 

Protocol for Order of Speakers & Seating Plan at UCC Events

When there is more than one speaker at an event, a Master of Ceremonies (MC) should open the proceedings and introduce the speakers in turn.

In order to respect the university’s most senior office and as primary host, the President should always be the first key speaker introduced by the MC.

If the President is in attendance at an event, he should be the introducer of the principal guest speaker at an event, i.e., President of Ireland, Lord Mayor of Cork, Taoiseach, Minister, Ambassador, etc.

Care should be taken to ensure that speeches by the remaining speakers are not longer in duration than those of the President and principal guest speaker.

When determining the seating plan, please note the following:

  • As host, the President sits in the centre of the stage or table
  • The principal guest/guest speaker sits on the President’s right

Advice and guidance in relation to this protocol is available from the Office of Marketing & Communications, UCC (Tel: 490 3676/2202, Email: events@ucc.ie).

Protocol for Order to Address Guests at UCC Events

 Guests should be addressed in the following order as appropriate and relevant in speeches at events in UCC: 

  • President (of Ireland)
  • Lord Mayor (of Cork)
  • Taoiseach
  • Government Minister(s)
  • President (of UCC)
  • Members of the Oireachtas and European Parliament
  • Chairman and Members of the Higher Education Authority
  • (County) Mayor
  • Chair of Governing Body
  • Governors
  • Vice President(s)
  • Head(s) of College
  • Distinguished Guests
  • Colleagues
  • Ladies and Gentlemen …………… 

 

Advice and guidance in relation to this protocol is available from the Office of Marketing & Communications, UCC (Tel: 490 3676/2202, Email: events@ucc.ie).

 

Protocol for Display of Flags at UCC

The official UCC Flagpoles (three) are located on the Clock Tower, North Wing, Main Quadrangle, UCC, and are exclusively reserved for the display of the following flags:

  • The Irish National flag
  • The European Union flag
  • The UCC flag
  • The national flag of any visiting international dignitary

There are three reserve flagpoles in position along the North Wing, Main Quadrangle, at ground level, for the display of the following flags:

  • The Green Campus flag (for environmental friendliness)
  • The “Health Promoting University” flag
  • The UCC flag

Any “honours” flag awarded to the university in the future is also eligible to be displayed from these flagpoles, on the approval of the President’s Office.

If weather conditions warrant, the flagpoles at ground level will also be used as a reserve for the official flagpoles.

As a mark of sympathy and respect, the UCC flag may be flown at half-mast from the Clock Tower on the death of a current student, current staff member or retired staff member for one day only.  Details will also be displayed on a designated notice-board in the Archway under the Clock Tower.

All or any other flags relating to UCC (incl. student activities, clubs and societies) may be displayed from the flagpoles above the entrance to the Boole Basement.  From time to time, the university may specify which flags may be flown in these locations and for how long.

No flag or banner may be displayed in the university where this might be detrimental to the university’s good name and reputation, might result in disruption to university operations or result in public disorder.

Any queries in relation to the display of flags at UCC should be directed to the General Services Officer/General Services Duty Officers, UCC, (Tel: 490 2951/2722, Email: m.mccormack@ucc.ie / gsdo@ucc.ie).

Policy for Use of UCC's Main Ceremonial Gates

The Main Ceremonial Gates at UCC are located at the corner of Western Road and O’Donovan’s Road.  

These gates are controlled by in-ground barriers and operated by members of the General Services Office.

Access to and egress from the UCC campus via the Main Ceremonial Gates will be exclusively reserved for the following groups on official visits to UCC:

  • The President of Ireland
  • An Taoiseach and An Tánaiste
  • Irish and international Government Ministers and MEPs
  • Visiting international Heads of State
  • Visiting international Government Ministers
  • Presidents and members of the European Commission and European Parliament

All other visitors to UCC will access and exit the campus using the vehicular entrance on College Road, for example:

  • Lord Mayor of Cork
  • County Mayor of Cork
  • Irish and international Ambassadors
  • Non-Ministerial Members of the Oireachtas
  • Members of Governing Body

The General Services Officer/General Services Duty Officers should be notified by the host college/school/department/centre/unit of all key visits requiring use of the Main Ceremonial Gates at least one week in advance (Tel: 490 2951/2722, Email: m.mccormack@ucc.ie / gsdo@ucc.ie)

Similarly, the host college/school/department/centre/unit will be responsible for advising the office of the visiting dignitary of the arrangements in place for access to and egress from the UCC campus.

Advice and guidance in relation to this protocol is available from the Office of Marketing & Communications, UCC, (Tel: 490 3676/2202, Email: events@ucc.ie).



 

UCC Photographic Release Form

Office of Marketing and Communications

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

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