A photo of Vicky Phelan in Honorary Doctorate PhD cap and gown outside UL's Plassey House
Monday, November 14, 2022

We have today lost a very dear UL community member and a powerful women’s health advocate with the death of Dr Vicky Phelan. 

Vicky was a UL graduate, (BA European Studies ’97), a UL colleague in both teaching and professional service roles and an honorary doctorate recipient in 2018.

In 2001, Vicky Phelan was appointed to the University of Limerick’s International Education Division, a natural home for someone of her skills and experience. Here, her main role was to manage the Erasmus programmes. Vicky was a loyal, warm and professional colleague who was progressive in her approach and ambitious for the international programme at UL. Through her efforts, UL grew its exchange programme and today it is the largest Erasmus programme in Ireland.

In 2004, Vicky left the University of Limerick to take up a new position with Waterford Institute of Technology. She always maintained a strong connection with UL not least through a large network of colleagues and friends and we proudly welcomed her back in June 2018 to bestow her with one of our institution's highest honours, an honorary Doctor of Letters.  

Vicky Phelan had a major impact on people’s lives during a most difficult and precious time in her own life. Through her courage, commitment and exceptional communication skills, she highlighted a major issue in the Irish healthcare system, while continuing to encourage the women of Ireland to have faith and to continue participating in the cervical screening programme. She was an inspiration to all UL students, to our staff and to our community. She brought great honour to the University, and she will be hugely missed.

To Vicky’s family and huge network of friends we offer our heartfelt sympathy and prayers.

To Vicky we offer our thanks.