Alumni Spotlight

  • Niall Horgan and Diarmuid McSweeney, Gym+Coffee

    07 Nov 2019
    Niall Horgan and Diarmuid McSweeney, Gym+Coffee

    UCC graduates Niall Horgan and Diarmuid McSweeney are two of the founders of Gym+Coffee, an athleisure company which gets its inspiration from the active lifestyle the lads enjoyed while travelling in Australia and California. The business has gone from strength to strength with stores in Dublin, Cork and Limerick and a growing online market in the U.K. and U.S.A. Rugby legend, Brian O’Driscoll, has even come on board to lead their successful ‘Summer Stretch’ outdoor workout series.  Fresh from winning Image Media’s nationwide competition, ‘The Pitch’, we catch up with Diarmuid and Niall to talk startups, work placement and UCC GAA.

    Read more
  • Jacqueline O’Mahony - Author

    24 Oct 2019
    Jacqueline O’Mahony - Author

    Former Tatler and Vogue journalist, Jacqueline O’Mahony, is turning the page on a new chapter in her life, as a debut author. Her first novel A River in the Trees is written from the point of view of two Irish women, living exactly one hundred years apart. The narrative is inspired by her own family’s experiences during the War of Independence and the stories that she heard growing up. The Arts graduate now lives in Notting Hill, London, with her husband and children, where she writes in the drawing-room of her Victorian house. She takes some time out to remember her time at UCC and how it shaped her.

    Read more
  • John Spillane: Singer-songwriter

    08 Oct 2019
    John Spillane: Singer-songwriter

    Two-time Meteor award winner, John Spillane, is a musician, songwriter, storyteller and performer.  A talented lyricist, he is one of Ireland’s most accomplished songwriters whose work has been covered by the likes of Christy Moore, Sharon Shannon and Sean Keane. John’s music transports the listener and his live performances have been captivating audiences the world over. A Cork native, the city and its surrounds exert a huge creative influence on him. His singing has an almost sean nós-like quality with a voice described as being “full of honesty, commitment and sensitivity”. We are privileged that John has written a beautiful song about the university, the lyrics of which are printed below. We chat with him about his memories of UCC.

    Read more
  • Margaret Perry - Playwright

    26 Sep 2019
    Margaret Perry - Playwright

    Margaret Perry is fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where her play, ‘Collapsible’, a raw, witty study of one woman’s journey into disintegration, opened to rave reviews. Her previous work, ‘Porcelain’ was staged by The Abbey Theatre in 2018 and was hailed by the theatre as “an important piece of new writing from a brilliant, new Irish playwright”. The UCC graduate is currently London-based where she is making her mark on the British stage, tackling themes of gender, identity and navigating life in her own innovative, form-busting style.

    Read more
  • Alumni Spotlight - Deaglán Ryan, FBI Special Agent

    05 Sep 2019
    Alumni Spotlight - Deaglán Ryan, FBI Special Agent

    Arts graduate, Deaglán Ryan, has carved out a niche for himself in what could be viewed as an unconventional career choice for Irish people. He talks to us about his student days, finding your passion and how a degree in Applied Psychology helped him land a job with the FBI.

    Read more
  • Alumni Spotlight – Melissa Deane, Wedding Planner

    20 Aug 2019
    Alumni Spotlight – Melissa Deane, Wedding Planner

    New York-based Melissa Deane is living the American dream; working as a wedding planner and quickly becoming a rising star of the Manhattan bridal scene. The Kildare woman works for a prestigious wedding planning company, lauded by Vogue as one of the city’s leading event management firms. To date, Melissa has worked on close to 50 weddings, overseeing all aspects of the planning process from securing vendors to managing budgets. She talks to us about her memories of UCC and how she went from BComm to Big Apple!  

    Read more
  •  Alumni Spotlight – Blaine Doyle, CEO, GlowDx

    13 Aug 2019
     Alumni Spotlight –  Blaine Doyle, CEO, GlowDx

    When entrepreneur, Blaine Doyle, contracted dengue fever in Honduras, it proved to be an ironic twist of fate. Having started his company GlowDx to develop a revolutionary kit for fast diagnosis of tropical diseases, he himself had to endure an anxious 24-hour wait for a diagnosis in a Honduran hospital. If left unidentified and untreated, dengue fever has a mortality rate of up to 50%. The cost of testing kits in developing countries can be prohibitive but the affordable GlowDx tests developed by Blaine and colleagues can give doctors an accurate diagnosis within 30 minutes. The Kilkenny native is now passionate about securing universal access to healthcare in the developing world and is highly involved with the community in Latin America, serving on the board of the Irish Mexican Chamber. We chat with him about how UCC changed his life.

    Read more
  •  Alumni Spotlight – Una Feeney, Global HSE Consultant, Eli Lilly

    10 Jul 2019
     Alumni Spotlight – Una Feeney, Global HSE Consultant, Eli Lilly

    Una Feeney is a Global HSE Consultant for Eli Lilly, supporting their Europe and Asia sites. She works in the area of occupational health and employee wellbeing and takes a holistic, integrated approach to her role. Una graduated with an MSc in Occupational Health in 2011 and is now a guest lecturer on the course. We chat with her about her experience as a part-time student at UCC.

    Read more
  • Alumni Spotlight – Major General Dr Robert Evans

    03 Jul 2019
    Alumni Spotlight – Major General Dr Robert Evans

    Kerry man, Major General Dr Robert Evans’ life journey has taken him from the village of Annascaul to the gardens of Buckingham Palace. So how did this UCC medical graduate go from tea in the Honan Hostel to tea with the Queen?

    Read more
  • Alumni Spotlight – Caragh Bell, Author

    03 Jul 2019
    Alumni Spotlight – Caragh Bell, Author

    Readers of romantic fiction will be familiar with teacher-turned-author Caragh Bell, whose riveting Cork and New York-based trilogy, ‘Follow your Heart’, has been a smash hit with fans of lightweight, entertaining escapism. The Skibbereen native signed a six-book deal with Poolbeg Press, who recently published her latest novel, ‘Echoes of Grace’. A ‘Game of Thrones’ fan, Caragh admits the book was inspired by Jon Snow’s back-story with its tale of family secrets and legacies. We catch up with the mother-of-five to talk Seamus Heaney, defending ‘freshers’ and getting lost in the Boole.

    Read more
  • Alumni Spotlight – Lochlainn McKenna, music video director - Westlife

    27 May 2019
    Alumni Spotlight – Lochlainn McKenna, music video director - Westlife

    Award-winning director Lochlainn McKenna has reached new heights of success with his video for Westlife’s latest single, ‘Better Man’. His 1990s-set accompaniment to the Ed Sheeran-penned song has already racked up over 8 million views on YouTube.  Lochlainn recently signed with a prestigious London-based creative agency and intends to concentrate on commercials and music videos before a move into feature films ensues.  We catch up with the Cork man to look back at his college days.

    Read more
  • Alumni Spotlight – Valerie Kingston, Glenilen Farm

    16 May 2019
    Alumni Spotlight – Valerie Kingston, Glenilen Farm

    Valerie Kingston and her husband Alan, are the founders of Glenilen Farm, an artisan, dairy-based food company located in West Cork. Valerie’s entrepreneurial journey began when she started selling home-produced cheesecakes at the local farmer’s market over 20 years ago. What originated as a cottage industry is now an award-winning commercial enterprise supplying dairy-based chilled products to major retailers in Ireland and the UK, including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. The company is a verified member of Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme, with all milk used in its produce sourced from Glenilen and neighbouring farms.  We chat with Valerie about her memories of UCC.

    Read more
  • Alumni Spotlight – Phelim Bradley, Co-founder of research start-up, Prolific

    29 Apr 2019
    Alumni Spotlight – Phelim Bradley, Co-founder of research start-up, Prolific

    UCC Physics graduate, Phelim Bradley’s ground-breaking research on DNA hit the headlines recently when it was featured on the cover of Nature Biotechnology. Influential U.S. magazine, The Atlantic, describes the project developed by Phelim and his colleagues as a ‘Google of sorts for bacterial and viral genomes’. The former UCC Science Graduate of the Year has just completed a PhD at the University of Oxford and has embarked on a start-up called Prolific, an online platform which enables researchers to quickly find participants for their surveys. We chat to Phelim about his student days at UCC.

    Read more
  • Gareth Hanrahan - Author and Game Designer

    01 Apr 2019
    Gareth Hanrahan - Author and Game Designer

    Gareth Hanrahan is a Cork-based writer and game designer. His first novel, The Gutter Prayer, has recently been published by Orbit Books. Described as “a fantasy thriller set in a world of strange monsters, dark gods and dangerous magic”, it is the first in a series called The Black Iron Legacy. Fans of the genre have heaped praise on the book with The Guardian calling it "a wonderfully bizarre vision that reads like a collaboration between Hunter S. Thompson and H.P. Lovecraft." Gareth takes some time out to speak to us about his college days.

    Read more
  • Siobhán McSweeney, Actress - Derry Girls

    28 Mar 2019
    Siobhán McSweeney, Actress - Derry Girls

    As season two of Channel 4’s Derry Girls draws to a close, we catch up with UCC alum, Siobhán McSweeney, who plays the scene-stealing Sr. Michael in the series. Based in London, her acting journey has taken her from the Granary theatre to the Royal Shakespeare Company and TV productions such as The Fall, Collateral and No Offence. We chat to Siobhán about her time in the Dramat, pints in the Old Bar and finding her tribe!

    Read more
  • Regina O'Connor, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs and Regulatory Policy, AXA XL

    22 Mar 2019
    Regina O'Connor, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs and Regulatory Policy, AXA XL

    Regina O'Connor is Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs and Regulatory Policy with AXA XL. She previously held senior positions in the European Parliament as a political and legal advisor, the Irish Permanent Representation to the EU (Council) and in the European Commission. She was Special Advisor to Pat Cox during the Ireland for Europe, Lisbon II campaign. Regina trained and practiced law at A&L Goodbody following periods in commercial, criminal and human rights law in Sydney, San Francisco and Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from UCC in 1997 with a Bachelor of Civil Law and holds a Masters degree from the College of Europe, Bruges.

    Read more
  • Rory Feely - Military Test Pilot and Co-Founder of aviation company, HopFlyt

    14 Mar 2019
    Rory Feely - Military Test Pilot and Co-Founder of aviation company, HopFlyt

    UCC physics graduate, Rory Feely, is a U.S. Military Experimental Test Pilot and Marine Corps Aviator who has been flying high-performance aircraft for over 20 years. He has been deployed four times and flown over 300 hours in combat. He is also the co-founder of HopFlyt, an innovative aviation company which aims to rid the world of traffic jams and exhaust pollution by providing urban commuter aircraft transport. Rory looks back on his time at UCC and gives his advice to today’s students.

    Read more
  • Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland

    06 Mar 2019
    Deirdre Mortell, CEO, Social Innovation Fund Ireland

    “I was trying to create the world I wanted to live in both at UCC and when I left". To celebrate International Women’s Day, we bring you a special interview with Deirdre Mortell, CEO of Social Innovation Fund Ireland, the ‘venture capital fund for social innovations’. It was as a student at UCC in the early 80s that Deirdre Mortell discovered her passion for social change and a determination to make a difference in the world. She speaks to us about her days as a student activist campaigning for women's issues on campus, and how she tried to create the world she wanted to live in, both at UCC and in her career.

    Read more
  • Niamh Rockett - Waterford Camogie Captain

    25 Feb 2019
    Niamh Rockett - Waterford Camogie Captain

    For Déise Camogie star, Niamh Rockett, years spent fighting a knee injury nearly ended her sporting career.  At one point her doctor warned that if she did not give up sport, she would end up in a wheelchair by the age of 30. Now age 25, Niamh has overcome adversity to captain Waterford in this year’s National League and she was the recipient of an All-Star nomination last season. A UCC Sports Studies and PE graduate, she balances a demanding inter-county training schedule with teaching duties at Blackwater Community School in her native Waterford. We chat to Niamh about her time at UCC.

    Read more
  • Gavin Hennessy - Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Irish Life

    18 Feb 2019
    Gavin Hennessy - Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Irish Life

    Gavin Hennessy’s career has seen him lead international development projects in Africa, India and Eastern Europe before returning to Ireland to work in the corporate sector. His role as Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Irish Life involves creating a culture of belonging while promoting ground-breaking strategies and programmes which allow traditionally under-represented groups to access employment.

    Read more
  • Maeve Hurley - founder of Ag Eisteacht

    04 Feb 2019
    Maeve Hurley - founder of Ag Eisteacht

    Dr Maeve Hurley is a UCC graduate and former GP who is the founder of Ag Eisteacht, an Irish registered charity. The charity empowers frontline practitioners across the healthcare, education, social, youth, justice, disability and community sectors through training and advocacy.

    Read more
  • Dr Naomi Masheti, Coordinator, Cork Migrant Centre

    28 Jan 2019
    Dr Naomi Masheti, Coordinator, Cork Migrant Centre

    To mark the end of another very successful Refugee Week at UCC, we shine our alumni spotlight on Dr. Naomi Masheti of Cork Migrant Centre. Originally from Kenya, Dr. Masheti has been living in Cork since 2001 and qualified with a PhD from UCC in 2015.

    Read more
  • Nicola Holly, Galleries Manager, Queensland College of Art

    21 Jan 2019
    Nicola Holly, Galleries Manager, Queensland College of Art

    When Nicola Holly left Ireland for Australia to pursue a career in the arts, little did she know that she would become the youngest public gallery Director in Queensland at the tender age of 26. The Kerry woman now works as Galleries Manager at the QCA Galleries Griffith University in Brisbane.

    Read more
  • Dr Doireann O’Leary, GP and media health contributor

    14 Jan 2019
    Dr Doireann O’Leary, GP and media health contributor

    UCC Medical graduate, Dr. Doireann O’Leary, is a busy GP who also finds time to write on the topic of health for RSVP Magazine and The Style Edit. 

    Read more
  • Stevie G - DJ, Promoter and Producer

    07 Jan 2019
    Stevie G - DJ, Promoter and Producer

    DJ, promoter and producer, Stevie G is a Cork music legend who got his big break at the internationally-renowned club, Sir Henry’s back in the 90’s. 

    Read more

Alumni and Development

Alumni agus Forbartha

University College Cork, 2.12 Western Gateway Building, Western Road, Cork, T12 XF62, Ireland

Top