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UCC’s new riverside walkway named The Cavanagh Way

25 Mar 2024
Members of the Cavanagh family at the naming of The Cavanagh Way (l-r); Maeve O’Shaughnessy; Ronan Cavanagh; Professor John O’Halloran, President, UCC; Fiona Collier; Cal Healy, Deputy Director of Business Development and Advancement, UCC; and Conor Cavanagh. Photo by Ger McCarthy.

UCC is pleased to announce that its new riverside walkway has been named The Cavanagh Way.

At a recent event on campus, members of the Cavanagh family officially opened The Cavanagh Way in memory of the late Tom and Marie Cavanagh. The naming recognises the Cavanagh’s generous philanthropy to the university, which has had a transformative effect on the campus, staff and students.

The Cavanagh Way takes pedestrians along the banks of the River Lee from the Alumni Bridge at the main UCC entrance, through the lower grounds, over The Cavanagh Bridge and across Gaol Walk. The route continues behind the Castlewhite apartments and on to the Western Gateway Building, with a spur from there to College Road through the Brookfield Health Sciences campus.

Professor John O’Halloran, President of UCC said ““For decades, Tom and Marie Cavanagh were supporters and friends of UCC. Not only are we grateful to them for transforming the lives of hundreds of students but their support has also impacted the physical landscape of our university with initiatives such as the Cavanagh Bridge which, along with The Cavanagh Way, form a new Biodiversity Trail through our campus. UCC is privileged to host a variety of habitats on its grounds, which this new route showcases wonderfully. We thank members of the Cavanagh Family for continuing to support the university and for keeping the ideals and beliefs of Tom and Marie alive here”.

Speaking on behalf of the Cavanagh family, Ronan Cavanagh said “Tom and Marie would be immensely proud of this naming. Tom was a very proud alumnus of UCC and took immense pleasure in engaging with all aspects of university life when he was a student and for many years after he graduated, when he was on the Governing Body, Cork University Foundation and many other university committees, right up until his death. I thank the university on behalf of the Cavanagh family for this naming and hope it will provide a pleasurable, functional and safe pathway for students, staff and the wider community for many years to come.”

A Biodiversity Trail for Campus

At the recent opening, a new interactive biodiversity trail which runs the length of The Cavanagh Way was also launched. The trail celebrates the nature found along the route and has been designed to be accessible for those who are new to wildlife watching, as well as being enjoyable for seasoned naturalists. UCC’s grounds personnel manage habitats with nature in mind; the Biodiversity Trail on The Cavanagh Way showcases wildlife which benefit from this approach to landscape management. Through interaction with this trail, it is hoped that all users of and visitors to the campus enjoy and connect with nature in a way that is meaningful and restorative.

The trail illustrates commonly found species, some of which are occasionally overlooked or misunderstood, on physical signage. These signs include a QR code which directs users to an online map of the trail hosted on the biodiversity trail page of the Office of Sustainability & Climate Action’s website.

A map of a riverside walk in UCC, with eight illustrations of the birds and wildlife that can be encountered. They are the treecreeper, grey wagtail, wildflower meadow, the common alder, nettles and brambles, the common pipistrelle bat, beech, and ivy.

The Cavanagh Way has created a critical connecting piece of campus walkway infrastructure and was developed by UCC’s Building and Estates, in collaboration with the Bons Secours Hospital. The biodiversity trail installations were facilitated by UCC’s Office of Sustainability & Climate Action with the support of the UCC Graduate Attributes team and Alumni and Development.

“We are eternally grateful to Tom and Marie Cavanagh for their decades of support of University College Cork. By naming this new route, the university honours the Cavanagh’s legacy of support, which can be seen not only in the footprint of UCC, but also in the students that they empowered and enabled through the years.” said Kerry Bryson, CEO of Cork University Foundation.

University College Cork

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College Road, Cork T12 K8AF