2014 Press Releases

Hard work pays off for students

20 May 2014
Pictured L-R: Prof Anita Maguire, Vice-President for Research and Innovation looks on as Dr Michael Murphy, President of UCC presents this year's Graduate of the Year to David Berry.

Dozens of UCC students have been recognised for their exceptional contributions inside and outside the university, with the equivalent of €110,000 awarded at the UCC Annual Prize Giving.

The awards, which are sponsored by a variety of private donors, allow the community to pay tribute to UCC’s finest students and support them further into the future. Among the counties represented were Cork, Clare, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Limerick and Sligo, as well as international students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia and China, reflecting UCC’s diverse student body. Prizes were in the form of medals, bursaries towards books/further study or money. 

The coveted UCC Graduate of the Year went to Cork native David Berry, who lives in Douglas and is UCC’s outgoing Students’ Union (SU) Welfare Officer. The applied psychology student has been snapped up by University College London, where he will undertake a master’s in cognitive neuroscience this September.

David immersed himself in university life, his varied positions across committees, clubs, societies and the UCCSU over four years of college life running into double-figures, though his real passion has always been to better the welfare of his fellow students. He has also contributed nationally, taking part in ‘Being Young and Irish Initiative’ as organised by President Michael D. Higgins. Leading UCC’s successful bid for an amber flag from Suicide Aware in 2013 was also a high point  for David (this award recognises excellence in mental health promotion and UCC was the first university in Ireland to achieve it).

David comments: “Today I feel proud of myself for having achieved my own goals and proud of my diverse university, where there is a place for everyone and students from every walk of life can unlock their own potential.”

President of UCC, Dr Michael Murphy, welcomed the prize-winners and a large contingent of family members, UCC students and staff, prize-donors, governors and guests, remarking: “The students in this room offer a shining example of what university life is all about – dedication, application, independent thinking and the thrill of discovery. On behalf of a proud university, I heartily congratulate them.”

Dr Murphy also expressed his thanks to the donors for their generosity. 

Professor Paul Giller, Registrar and Senior Vice President Academic, also congratulated the students as he presented three other university-level awards:

The O’Connor Scholarship: Karen O’ Leary (Cork)

The Peel Memorial Prize: Nigel H. Bateman (Riverstick, Co. Cork), David J. Berry (Douglas, Cork) and Padraig M. De Rís (Tralee, Co. Kerry)

The William J. Leen Postgraduate Scholarship: Thomas P. Rhydwen (Lankashire, United Kingdom) and Wei Xiong (China)


Awards were also made from each of UCC’s four Colleges.

The College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences through Professor Caroline Fennell, Head of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences, presented four awards:

The Ann Moloney Bursary in Applied Psychology: Elizabeth Quinlan (Cork)

The Boyle Postgraduate Scholarship Prize in German: Sinéad Barry (Co. Waterford)

The Peter Dempsey Award in Applied Psychology: Katarzyna M. Pyrz (Cork)

The Staf Gebruers Memorial Prize in Music: Joseph Ryan (Co. Wexford)


The College of Business & Law through Professor Ursula Kilkelly, Head of the College of Business & Law, presented eight awards:

The Aidan Synnott Graduate Travel Bursary: Shane F. McCarthy (Carrigaline, Co. Cork), Anthony P. O’Dwyer (Co. Tipperary), Rosemary O’ Sullivan (Co. Limerick) & Katherine Wade (Co. Sligo)

The Bloomsbury Prize: Róisín Collins (Co. Limerick)

The Brian Dillon Memorial Prize: Róisín Collins (Co. Limerick)

The Chartered Accountants Cork Society Bursary: Bríd Brosnan (Co. Cork) & Eoghan P. Hill (Montenotte, Cork)

The Comyn Kelleher Tobin Graduate Bursary: Seán Whittaker (Arbroath, Scotland)

The Matheson Undergraduate Prize in Information Technology Law: Kevin O’ Driscoll (Co. Cork)

The President James Slattery Prize & Medal in Law: Louise Forde (Montenotte, Cork)

The Ronan Daly Jermyn Scholarship: Kathy Bunney  (Rochestown, Cork)


The College of Medicine & Health through Professor Mary Horgan, Dean of the School of Medicine presented seven awards:

The Ainsworth Scholarship: Áine P. Merwick (Bandon, Co. Cork)

The Charles Medal: Antomy – Edmond P. Morrissey (Clonmel, Co. Tipperary)

The Charles Medal: Physiology- David P. Burns (Tower, Co. Cork) & Kevin M. Pierce (Douglas, Cork)

The Edward Gurr Prize: Dental- Bojana Ivanisevic (Ontario, Canada)

The Edward Gurr Prize: Medical- Mohammad H. Adenan (Selangor, Malaysia) & Edmond P. Morrissey (Clonmel, Co. Tipperary)

The James M. O’ Donovan Medical Prize: Karen N. McCarthy (Beara, Co Cork) & Sheila M. McSweeney (Ballinlough, Cork)

The John Kelly Prize in Clinical Surgery: Sheila M. McSweeney (Ballinlough, Cork)

The R.G.G. Barry prize in Paediatrics: Anne M. O’ Mahony (Dripsey, Co. Cork)

The William Kearny Prize in Obstetrics & Gynaecology: Karen N. McCarthy (Beara, Co. Cork)


The College of Science, Engineering & Food Science through Professor Paul McSweeney, Interim Head of the College of Science, Engineering & Food Science presented nine awards:

The Boyle Food Science Prize: Haoran Xing (China)

The Eli Lilly Chemistry Prize: Thérese A. Lyons (Killarney, Co. Kerry)

The Joe Gantly Prize in Engineering: Katherine M. Condon ( Clonakilty, Co. Cork)

The John Joseph McCarthy Prize in Civil & Environmental Engineering: Philip Galvin (Tralee, Co. Kerry)

The John Murphy Postgraduate Research Fellowship in Civil Engineering: Brendan G. Cahill (Killarney, Co. Kerry)

The John Sisk Postgraduate Research Scholarship in Civil Engineering: Ciarán Hanley (Wilton, Cork)

The Karl McCarthy Prize: Shauna M. Whelan (Charleville, Co. Cork)

The Reilly Prize: Patrick G. McCaw (Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare)

The SEFS Graduate of the Year: James P. Fennell (Ballincollig, Co. Cork)


The full background to all prizes/donors can be found by clicking here. 

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