Award recipients Social Entrepreneur Michael Kelly, Leading expert on European policy, Prof. Brigid Laffan, and Business leader Niall Browne
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The University of Limerick Alumni has bestowed its highest honour on three of the University’s outstanding graduates at the 13th Annual UL Alumni Awards Gala Dinner on Saturday, 10 November.


This annual event celebrates the outstanding achievements of graduates of the University of Limerick and this year is no exception with the calibre of alumni honoured. They are:


Business leader Niall Browne, CEO of Dawn Meats, an Irish company with extensive operations across the globe, was honoured for his contribution to Business.


Leading expert on European policy, Prof. Brigid Laffan, Director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy was honoured for her contribution to Academia


And Social Entrepreneur Michael Kelly, founder of GIY (Grow It Yourself), a not-for-profit organisation headquartered in Waterford which was set up to equip people to grow their own food and which has now supported 500,000 growers around Ireland. He was honoured for his contribution to Society.


Speaking at the UL Alumni Awards Gala Dinner, UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald said “This event is very much a celebration of the achievements and contributions of three amazing people.  As UL alumni, Niall, Brigid and Michael have made us hugely proud. With each achievement in their careers, they have elevated the reputation of UL by association. Tonight’s award recipients represent all that is good about our alumni. I can’t think of better people for our current and future students to look to when they seek inspiration from those trailblazers who have gone before them”.


The 2018 UL Alumni Awards celebration, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, took place at Limerick’s Castletroy Park Hotel, with UL alumna Juliette Gash, Multimedia Reporter with RTE as Event MC.


Over 200 guests from the University, business and wider community attended this black-tie dinner which was also supported by Analog Devices Ireland, Cantor Fitzgerald, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), Ronan Daly Jermyn (RDJ) Solicitors and Stryker Ireland.


Since its inception in 2006, forty-three UL alumni have now been honoured including rugby legend Tony Ward, composer Patrick Cassidy, CEO & President (EMEA) of Kerry Ingredients Eoin O’Connell, former Riverdance star Jean Butler, former Chief Executive of the Kentz Corporation Dr Hugh O’Donnell, acclaimed Irish artist Alice Maher, Boeing Commercial Engineer of the Year Dr Pio Fitzgerald, former All-Ireland Kerry Footballer Pat Spillane, Managing Director of Abbey Machinery Clodagh Cavanagh, Entrepreneur & CEO of Dairymaster Dr Edmond Harty, former Minister for the Diaspora Jimmy Deenihan, former Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, the late Lt. Gen. Dermot Earley and award-winning former Cork Camogie Captain and TV personality Anna Geary.