UCC alumni awards for West Cork business people and sports stars

December 3rd, 2023 8:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Among the recipients of the UCC alumni awards last week were John and Catherine Field, centre, of Field’s SuperValu in Skibbereen, seen here with their daughters Ruth, left, and Elizabeth.

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FOUR West Cork people were honoured at last week’s University College Cork (UCC) Alumni Achievement Awards, which celebrates its landmark 25th anniversary.

A total of eleven inspirational alumni were honoured with an alumni award, one of the highest accolades given by UCC.

Olympic gold medallists Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan were among the awardees. Both began their rowing careers at Skibbereen Rowing Club, and since they started rowing together, the duo has amassed an impressive collection of medals, including Ireland’s first ever rowing gold medal in 2020 at the Tokyo Olympics.

Named as ‘community champions of their hometown’, John and Catherine Field, directors of the family business, JJ Field & Co, which includes Fields of Skibbereen SuperValu, were honoured for their award-winning supermarket, ‘known for championing the very best of local’.

The honours list also mentioned that John Field is a founding member of the Ludgate Hub in Skibbereen, the digital workspace that has helped to drive innovation in the area. A Midleton native, who has had business interests in West Cork, was also awarded.

A renowned figure in finance and philanthropy, Neil O’Leary was honoured for his contributions to business, philanthropy, and his voluntary service to UCC. O’Leary has served the Cork University Foundation board since 2013, serving three UCC presidents.

The former Topaz chairman is the founder of Ion Equity financial services firm and the founder of MyDawa, an e-health business in East Africa. He was previously involved in SWS in Clonakilty.

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