2016 UCD MGA Alumni Reunion
The School was delighted to welcome back alumni to the 2016 UCD Medical Graduates Association Alumni Reunion which took place on Friday, 13th May 2016. Now firmly established as a key highlight of the School calendar, the event was attended by over 200 alumni from across the Medicine graduating classes of 1956, 1961, 1966, 1976, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2006 and 2015.
The Alumni celebrations included a series of presentations from representatives of each class followed by tours of the UCD Health Science Centre and UCD Charles Institute. The event concluded with a Gala Dinner in the Conrad Hotel, Earlsfort Terrace at which the Medical Graduates Association Distinguished Graduate Award was presented to Prof Michael Moriarity (UCD Class of 1966).
In addition to former graduates and their families, the School was honoured to have a number of guests from the UCD North American Graduates Association including Dr Gerard Foye, Dr John Fitzgerald and Prof Mark Sedler. Prof Mary Horgan (UCD Medicine Class of 1986 and Dean of Medicine at University College Cork) and Prof Philip Nolan (UCD Medicine Class of 1991 and President, National University of Ireland, Maynooth) were among the returning alumni ; Both parents of current UCD students.
The proceedings were chaired by Dr Declan O’Callaghan, President of UCD MGA, and Prof Patrick Murray, Dean of Medicine, UCD School of Medicine. In his introduction, Prof Murray acknowledged how the School’s reputation is forged by the successful careers and leadership of our graduates across the globe. He paid tribute to the strong tradition of mentorship and support which preceding classes offer to our current students and highlighted international research elective opportunities.
In his presentation on the University in the 1960’s, Prof John Murphy (UCD Medicine Class of 1966) described the entry requirements for Medicine which included Leaving Certificate and matriculation (with Latin an essential subject), IR£70 and a passport photograph! Prof Mary Reilly (UCD Medicine Class of 1986) gave an overview of the explosion of medical genetics knowledge with a presentation entitled ‘From the Spanish Armada to Gene Therapy’. UCD Clinical Professor, Prof Colm O’Donnell (UCD Medicine Class of 1996) gave a brief history of neonatal resuscitation drawing from his extensive experience at the National Maternity Hospital. Dr William Murphy (UCD Medicine Class of 1976 and Medical Director, Irish Blood Transfusion Service) described gender differences in haemoglobin levels and implication for blood supply. The formal session was concluded with a well received keynote address by historian and consultant psychiatrist, Dr Aidan Collins (UCD Medicine Class of 1990) who gave a historical perspective on the state of Irish Medicine in 1916.
Attendees also took the opportunity to participate in tours of the UCD Health Sciences Centre which has been home to the Medical School since 2006 and the UCD Charles Institute of Dermatology. Many of those present were delighted to see again the historic Kevin Barry Memorial Window by Richard King of Harry Clarke Stained Glass Studio. This artwork was commission by classmates of Irish rebel Kevin Barry, a first year UCD medical student who was executed at the age of 18 for his part in the War of Independence. First unveiled in 1934 by President of Ireland, Eamonn de Valera in the School’s original Earlsfort Terrace home, the window was relocated in 2011 to UCD Belfield.
The 2016 UCD Medical Graduates Association Distinguished Graduate Award was presented to Dr Michael Moriarity (UCD Medicine Class of 1966) for his lifelong achievements to medical research and practice by Dr Declan O’Callaghan, President of the UCD MGA. Introducing the award, Dr John Murphy, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at RCSI Bahrain described his classmate with three key attributes, his empathy, his excellence and his scholarship.
"The good doctor has to be a lifelong learner, a lifelong teacher and, in the broadest aspect, as lifelong researcher; in truth a Scholar. Michael fits easily into every aspect of this definition.”
Following such a highly successful event, the School will shortly commence planning for the 2017 Alumni Reunion. Further details will be posted here in due course.