By Eoin English
AN ALL-ROUND honours student who debated his way around the world while at college was named UCC’s Graduate of the Year yesterday.
Raphael Ó Muirthile, from Wilton Avenue, Bishopstown, Cork, was honoured for his key role in the development of the college's Philosophical Society, and for his work on the development of a guide to student life, during his time at UCC.
But he was also honoured for his academic achievements.
Raphael graduated from UCC in 2004 with an honours science degree in physics and maths. He was awarded a College Scholarship for 2001-02 and was College Scholar for 2002-03 and 2003-04.
He also found time for debating with the Philosophical Society known on campus as the Philosoph.
He was runner-up in the national maidens debating competition and went on to become Philosophical Society Development Officer during 2002-03 the year the society won 'Society of the Year'.
He represented the college's Law Society at the World University Debating Championships in Toronto and Singapore.
And after he was elected vice-president of the Societies Guild in 2003, he went on to develop the Societies Guide which plays a major part in the guild's efforts to inform UCC students about life on campus.
He was also involved with the Green Party and as a member of the Mathematical Society, he was on the team which won a top ranking award at the International Mathematical Competition in Modelling in 2003.
The Graduate of the Year was one of 44 undergraduate and postgraduate prizes handed out to over 61 prizewinners at UCC's 2005 prize-giving ceremony yesterday.
College President Professor Gerard T Wrixon also announced two new prizes. Shane Toomey from Glasheen, Cork, was presented with The James D Donegan Moot Court Prize. This annual prize will be awarded to the student who is the most outstanding speaker at the Annual Gala Moot Court.
The prize was donated by Cobh-based S Donegan & Co Solicitors. Jim Donegan was the fourth successive generation of his family to practice as a solicitor in Cork. He studied law at UCC and, after qualifying as a solicitor, he practised in Cork for 50 years. He also served as president of the Southern Law Association, as Dean of the Notaries Public in Ireland and as a Council Member of the Law Society of Ireland.
And to mark the opening of UCC's School of Pharmacy, Sam McCauley Chemists have offered an annual prize to the student with the best overall mark in the foundation sciences modules in first and second year. That prize was presented yesterday to Katherine J Cooke from Skibbereen, Co Cork.