BALLINGEARY’S Eamonn Ryan, who has made a significant contribution to Gaelic games in UCC and Cork, has been honoured by the university.
The current selector with the Cork senior men’s squad, the only member of the outgoing committee to be retained for 2017-19, was honoured with an Alumni Achievement Award for Voluntary Service to UCC.
His involvement with UCC GAA began in the 1960s when he returned to third level education to complete a BA and HDip in Education at UCC. As coach of the Cork Senior Ladies’ Football team, he oversaw them powering their way to 10 Munster Championship titles, nine National League titles, and 10 All-Ireland titles.
The Achievement Awards were organised by UCC’s development and alumni office to honour alumni who have achieved outstanding success in their chosen fields and sponsored by Bank of Ireland, Boston Scientific, and Henry Ford & Son.
UCC law alumna Sinead Kane, who qualified as Ireland’s first legally blind solicitor in 2009, also received an award. Kane’s efforts to secure visually impaired legal professionals equal opportunities in court led to the introduction of legislation in 2008 allowing for visually impaired persons appearing before a court to have an assistant.
Ruth Buckley, deputy chief executive and head of ICT and business services for Cork City Council; Gillian Keating, a partner in Ronan Daly Jermyn solicitors, and Caroline O’Driscoll, a tax partner with KPMG Cork, the founders of I WISH, an initiative to inspire female secondary school students to pursue STEM careers, were also honoured.
Dr Katherine Fitzgerald (in absentia), a professor of medicine and director of the Program in Innate Immunity at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Phil Hogan, the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development were also recognised.
Dr Fitzgerald’s research is focused on how the immune system discriminates pathogens, resident microflora, and host molecules to protect the host from infection and avoid damaging inflammatory diseases. She advises young women starting out in their careers that ‘identifying mentors who can advise you and help you prioritise your focus is a key determinant of success.’
Prior to becoming Commissioner, Phil Hogan, who studied a BA in economics and geography at UCC, represented the Carlow/Kilkenny constituency in Dáil Éireann, where he served in the Fine Gael party shadow cabinet and as spokesman on Europe, on the food industry, consumer affairs, and regional policy.