University recalls old links with Kerry at meeting

Close links between University College Cork and Kerry dating to the mid-19th century were recalled yesterday when the board of governors held its first meeting in the county.

Kerry County Council chambers in Tralee was the venue for the meeting, which heard how many Kerry-born graduates were among UCC’s distinguished business, professional, and sporting alumni.

Kerry is second only to Cork in the number of students it sends to UCC, at nearly 1,500 in undergraduates, postgraduates, and adults continuing education.

A UCC centre for medical education at Kerry General Hospital, Tralee, and a development of a more cohesive regional learning cluster between third-level institutions are two of the recent initiatives between UCC and Kerry.

In a talk to the board, retired professor of Irish history at UCC John A Murphy said UCC had always been the natural, third-level mecca of Kerry students.

In the early 1840s, Kerry supported Cork’s claim against Limerick as the most appropriate location for a Queen’s college in Munster, he said, adding that Kerry had provided two presidents for UCC, Sir Rowland Blennerhassett and Alfred O’Rahilly.

He offered hope that a Kerry woman may become the first female president of UCC, “thus breaking the toughest glass ceiling of all-male monopoly of leadership of Ireland’s academic institutions”.


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