Ambassador hosts UCD Alumni Reception in Brussels

Staff and students of the UCD Sutherland School of Law, in conjunction with SPIRe (The School of Politics & International Relations), returned recently from a very successful European Law and Politics Field Trip to the European Institutions in Brussels and Luxembourg. To mark the visit, H.E. Mr. Éamonn Mac Aodha, Ambassador of Ireland and UCD Law alumnus hosted an alumni reception in the Embassy of Ireland in Brussels.  Also in attendance were the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Mr Phil Hogan and Judge Andrias Ó Caoimh recently retired Judge of the European Court of Justice. Judge Ó Caoimh is the current Judge in Residence here in the Sutherland School. 

L-R Commissioner Phil Hogan, H.E. Mr. Éamonn Mac Aodha, Dr Aidan Regan, Judge Andrias Ó Caoimh

Dr Aidan Regan, speaking on behalf of UCD, thanked the Ambassador and his colleagues for their hospitality in hosting this UCD Alumni event in Brussels for the second consecutive year.   He noted the importance of Brussels in providing interesting career opportunities for UCD graduates who in turn had forged stellar careers in the institutions and beyond. 

The group of nearly 15 students on the trip was honoured to attend the Embassy and delighted with the chance to meet with alumni.  The international nature of the group alongside their Irish colleagues reflected the changing nature of Irish graduate education in particular and the extent to which Irish universities have become more outward looking, making events such as this all the more relevant.  

The reception was very well attended by Brussels based alumni and offered the students a great opportunity to meet a number of UCD graduates who have built successful careers in the major European Institutions. 

Judge O'Caoimh and Commisioner Hogan

Judge Aindrias Ó Caoimh and EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Mr Phil Hogan

Ambassador Éamonn Mac Aodha addresses UCD Alumni and Students at the Irish Embassy

UCD Alumni & Students at the reception in the Irish Embassy in Brussels

UCD Law Alumni Claire Bertouille and Charlotte Bosseler


One of our students, Marco Musso has shared some of his reflections on the trip:

In March 2017 I took part in the EU field trip. The intense but very rewarding programme included several visits to the institutions of the European Union in Brussels and Luxembourg during which we had the opportunity to observe their day to day work environment and to meet with distinguished EU officials. These meetings were very interesting and provided some original insights into the working reality of the EU.                                                                                                            

Another highlight of this trip was the career session that gave us the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations with several UCD alumni working in Brussels. Personally these occasions have been very helpful in clarifying the skills required to succeed in an international career and presented the wide range of professional opportunities that exist in Brussels vibrant private sector.

This experience will be very useful in orienting my future career choices because I have now a much clearer understanding of the different opportunities in the field of European affairs.

This trip definitely exceeded my expectations representing for me a precious opportunity of moving from the theory to the reality of the functioning of the EU. In fact, I have been able to experience first-hand what I had previously only studied in theory gaining in depth understanding of the current challenges faced by the European Union.

Therefore I can say this has been an inspiring trip on an academic level as well as a truly rewarding experience on a personal level thanks to the friendly atmosphere that was immediately established in the group.

I would definitely recommend to every student interested in the functioning of the EU or considering a future international career to not miss this unique opportunity.

Marco Musso

Marco Musso, UCD/University of Utrecht MSc European Governance inaugural class.

Kate Weedy, shown here on the right alongside fellow student Jean-Anne Morrissey, also shared her thoughts on the trip.

Having studied Politics and International Relations as part of my undergraduate degree at UCD and now currently studying the Masters in Common Law at UCD, EU politics and law are of significant interest to me, and so I jumped at the chance to participate in the EU field trip organised jointly by UCD Sutherland School of Law and UCD School of Politics. I initially decided to go on the trip because I viewed it as an opportunity to really experience the EU institutions and take everything I had learned from the text books and apply it in a practical sense, and it did not disappoint. From watching a plenary session in the European Parliament, to sitting in the soon to be vacant UK seat at the European Council, and witnessing a preliminary reference procedure at the European Court of Justice, and so on, I cannot even begin to describe the clarity that these experiences have provided me with in not only my studies but also when trying to decide my future career path. These experiences combined with the practical career advice which we were provided with by UCD Alumni at a careers information session organised for us and a networking event at the Irish Embassy in Brussels was extremely helpful, especially as we start the application process for internships in the EU. I could not recommend this trip enough for anyone with even the slightest interest in working in Brussels, it was extremely well organised and has made me even more excited to pursue a career in the EU.