University of Galway celebrates 25 years of recognising graduates

Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al-Haq, and Maureen Kennelly, Director at The Arts Council
Apr 03 2024 Posted: 10:31 IST

University announces eight recipients of the 2024 Alumni Awards

University of Galway has announced the recipients of our 2024 Alumni Awards, celebrating 25 years of recognising our graduates.

These awards celebrate outstanding individuals among the University's 131,000 alumni, recognising their remarkable accomplishments across various fields on both local and global scales.

The Alumni Awards Gala Banquet will be held on campus in the Bailey Allen Hall, University of Galway on Friday May 10, 2024.

Among the distinguished honourees to date are President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins; journalist and broadcaster Seán O’Rourke; broadcaster Gráinne Seoige; Goldman Sachs Executive Adrian Jones; former Labour Party leaders Eamon Gilmore and Pat Rabbitte; Court of Appeal Judge Máire Whelan; Olympian and World Champion Olive Loughnane; actress and Druid Theatre founder Marie Mullen; and actress Nicola Coughlan.  

The 2024 University of Galway alumni awardees are:  

  • Alumni Award for Business and Commerce - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland

            James Murphy – CEO, Lifes2good

  • Alumni Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies

Maureen Kennelly – Director at The Arts Council

  • Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology

Caitriona Walsh – Country President and Managing Director, Novartis Ireland

  • Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Society - Sponsored by RDJ

Shawan Jabarin - General Director of Al-Haq

  • Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences - Sponsored by Medtronic

            Dr Dermot Phelan - Former Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine, Mater Hospital            and Associate Professor, UCD

  • Gradam Alumni don Ghaeilge

Diarmuid de Faoite – Writer, Actor, Director

  • Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport

Heather Boyle – Former International Rower, Cyclist, Head of Communications at the Olympic Federation of Ireland

  • Alumni Award for Emerging Leader

Jack O’Meara – CEO, Ochre Bio

Speaking on the announcement of the Awards recipients, President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “We are honoured to recognise these outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to their alma mater and to civic society in often challenging times. Consistent with our sense of the role of University of Galway in the world and for the world, they are all an important voice in their areas of endeavour. Each of them demonstrates the impacts that our graduates can have, and we are proud to be able to recognise and celebrate their achievements in keeping with our values of excellence, openness, respect and sustainability.”

For ticket reservations, visit or contact Colm O’Dwyer, Alumni Relations at


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