GAA president and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist among alumni honoured by University of Limerick

The 16th annual UL Alumni Awards Gala Dinner took place in the Limerick Strand Hotel earlier this Friday night, November 3.

GAA President Larry McCarthy and double Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times investigative journalist Malachy Browne are among those to have been honoured by the University of Limerick.

The 16th annual UL Alumni Awards Gala Dinner took place alongside the UL Sports Hall of Fame for the first time earlier this evening.

Dr McCarthy, rugby star Lynne Cantwell, and former UL Sport & Recreation Director Dave Mahedy were inducted into the UL Sports Hall of Fame, bringing the total number of inductees to 34, while Malachy Browne, Serosep founder Dermot Scanlan and barrister Cathy Smith received UL Alumni Awards – joining a prestigious group of just 50 alumni who have been previously honoured in this way.

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey attended the event along with Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Gerald Mitchell, praising some of UL’s “most accomplished, innovative, inspiring, creative, and influential alumni”.

“By bringing these two prestigious events together, we are delighted to be able to recognise the exceptional achievements and contributions of our alumni and wider campus community and showcase the breadth and depth of talent that University of Limerick produces,” Professor Mey said.

“Our distinguished awardees, in their respective fields, exemplify the core values and excellence that University of Limerick instils in all our students. They are the embodiment of dedication, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Their achievements stand as a testament to the calibre and quality of education and values cultivated within our University’s halls.”

UL launched the Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 to serve as a permanent tribute to the many outstanding sporting achievements of past and present members of the campus community.  

Lynne Cantwell

A total of 31 individuals have been honoured since that inaugural year by their induction to the UL Sports Hall of Fame, with three more being added to the ranks this Friday.

John Fulham, chair of UL Sport, said: “University of Limerick has enjoyed a unique national lead role through the development and leadership in Physical Education, Sports Science, Sport and Recreation over the past 50 years. 

“The importance of these awards tonight cannot be understated. Not only are we recognising the success of people who have achieved at the highest level and to exemplary standards in their respective disciplines, we are also acknowledging the important role sport plays in the life of UL and those who work and study here.”

The inaugural UL Alumni Awards ceremony was first hosted in 2006 and previous recipients include Tony Ward, Jean Butler, Professor Brigid Laffan and Dr Hugh O’Donnell.

The Awards recognise graduates who have made a significant impact in various fields, including in business, entrepreneurship, science and technology, academia, societal and humanitarian areas, sport, culture and the arts.

Prior to this evening’s three awards, 50 graduates have previously been honoured, and the diversity and significance of their achievements reflect positively on UL, the region, and beyond.

Bobby O’Connor, chair of the UL Alumni Board, said: “Ever since UL Alumni was established by graduates in 1987, we have sought ways to provide a real link between the graduate community and our alma mater. In 2006, UL Alumni announced the first ever Alumni Awards and the University takes great pride in its graduate community and UL Alumni is delighted to provide this forum through which fifty alumni to-date have been honoured.

“Each year, through the nominations we receive, UL Alumni learns about the quality and diversity of achievement of our alumni. This awareness compels us to honour those among us who have made outstanding contributions across various fields in Ireland and abroad. 

“This Alumni Awards celebration has become one of the most prestigious and significant events in the life of UL and among the alumni community, now over 120,000 strong and we warmly welcome the new inductees who we have honoured this evening,” Mr O’Connor added.

Over 300 guests attended the event which was sponsored by Carelon with event partners Analog Devices and Stryker Ireland.

The MCs were UL alumni, broadcasters Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh and Paul Collins.

President Kerstin Mey

UL Sports Hall of Fame Inductees 2023:

Mr David Mahedy – BA Physical Education 1978

Ms Lynne Cantwell – BSc Sports and Exercise Science 2003

Dr Larry McCarthy – BEd Physical Education 1977

2023 UL Alumni Awards Recipients:

Mr Dermot Scanlon – BSc Industrial Chemistry 1985 – Outstanding Contribution/ Entrepreneurship

Ms Cathy Smith – BA Law and European Studies 1995 – Outstanding Contribution/ Society

Mr Malachy Browne – MA International Studies 2006 – Outstanding Contribution/ Humanitarian

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