Award Recipients 2023
Monday, 6 November 2023

The 16th annual UL Alumni Awards Gala Dinner was held in the Limerick Strand Hotel on Friday 3 November, taking place alongside the UL Sports Hall of Fame for the first time.

UL President Professor Mey celebrated the fusion of these two prestigious events as a means to acknowledge the “exceptional achievements and contributions of our alumni and wider campus community and showcase the breadth and depth of talent that University of Limerick produces.” She also emphasised the wealth of talent produced by UL, stating “Our distinguished awardees, in their respective fields, exemplify the core values and excellence that University of Limerick instils in all our students. They are the embodiment of dedication, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. Their achievements stand as a testament to the calibre and quality of education and values cultivated within our university's halls.”

UL Alumni Awards

The 2023 UL Alumni Award recipients are Serosep founder Dermot Scanlon, Barrister Cathy Smith and double Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times investigative journalist Malachy Browne

The Awards recognise graduates who have made a significant impact in various fields, including in business, entrepreneurship, science and technology, academia, societal and humanitarian areas, sport, culture and the arts.
To date, 50 graduates have been honoured, and the diversity and significance of their achievements reflect positively on UL, the region, and beyond.

Bobby O’Connor, Chair of the UL Alumni Board, said: “Ever since UL Alumni was established by graduates in 1987, we have sought ways to provide a real link between the graduate community and our alma mater. In 2006, UL Alumni announced the first ever Alumni Awards and the University takes great pride in its graduate community and UL Alumni is delighted to provide this forum through which fifty alumni to-date have been honoured.” He also highlighted the quality and diversity of alumni achievements made apparent through the nominations received and underlined the growing significance of the Alumni Awards celebration in the life of UL and the alumni community, which now boasts more than 120,000 members.

UL Sports Hall of Fame
The 2023 UL Sports Hall of Fame Inductees are GAA President Dr Larry McCarthy, rugby star Lynne Cantwell and former UL Sport & Recreation Director Dave Mahedy.

UL launched the Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 to serve as a permanent tribute to the many outstanding sporting achievements of past and present members of the campus community. A total of 31 individuals have been honoured since that inaugural year by their induction to the UL Sports Hall of Fame, with three more being added to the ranks this Friday.

John Fulham, Chair of UL Sport, emphasised the University’s pivotal role in Physical Education, Sports Science, Sport and Recreation over the past 50 years. He also stressed the significance of the UL Sports Hall of Fame, stating “The importance of these awards tonight cannot be understated. Not only are we recognising the success of people who have achieved at the highest level and to exemplary standards in their respective disciplines, we are also acknowledging the important role sport plays in the life of UL and those who work and study here.”

Over 300 guests attended the event, which was generously sponsored by Carelon, with Analog Devices and Stryker Ireland as Event Partners. The MCs who masterfully guided the evening’s proceedings were UL alumni broadcasters, Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh and Paul Collins.

2023 UL Alumni Awards Recipients:

  • Mr Dermot Scanlon – BSc Industrial Chemistry 1985 - Outstanding Contribution/ Entrepreneurship
  • Ms Cathy Smith – BA European Studies 1995 - Outstanding Contribution/ Society
  • Mr Malachy Browne – MA International Studies 2006 - Outstanding Contribution/ Humanitarian

2023 UL Sports Hall of Fame Inductees:

View a slideshow of images from the evening.