UCC to honour distinguished alumni

A surgeon to the stars, a humanitarian, a business leader, and a pioneering dental researcher who has inspired a generation of dentists, are to be honoured by their university for making their mark on the world stage.

UCC to honour distinguished alumni

University College Cork graduates Patrick O’Leary, a New York City surgeon; Leslie Buckley, chairman of Independent News and Media; and Denis O’Mullane, emeritus professor and founder of the Oral Health Services Research Centre at Cork University Dental School and Hospital, will be among five people to receive UCC Alumni Achievement Awards next week.

Limerick man Jim Clarken, CEO of Oxfam Ireland, and Una Fox, a vice-president at Disney, will also receive alumni awards.

Dr O’Leary is one of the most sought-after spinal surgeons in the world.

A graduate of medicine from UCC in 1968, and originally from Baltimore, Co Cork, Dr O’Leary has been consistently named one of the best doctors in New York, and is also included in a select group of physicians listed as one of America’s top doctors’.

Mr Buckley, one of Ireland’s most successful businessmen and chairman of Independent News and Media, graduated from UCC with a BSc (chemistry) in 1967 and an MSC in 1969.

Originally from Cork City, Mr Buckley helped to manage the start-up of Esat Telecom Group and Esat Digifone Limited.

Together with his wife, Carmel, he set up the Haven Partnership in 2009, which was one of the lead agencies which responded to the crisis in the wake of the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti in Jan 2010.

Prof O’Mullane will be honoured specifically for decades of voluntary service to UCC.

He received a BDS in 1960 and a PhD in 1971 from the university, and is a pioneer in his field of expertise.

He is one of the key voices in the debate around the use of fluroide in drinking water in Ireland, and has been recognised internationally several times.

Mr Clarken left UCC with an MBA in 2002, and followed a lifelong calling to work with development agencies.

Ms Fox, who graduated with a BA in English and French from UCC in 1989, is one of the most influential women in technology today.

She is the vice-president in retail and ecommerce technology at the Walt Disney Company, and has held senior roles at Yahoo, Dow Jones, Thompson (Financial), Cisco, and KPMG.

Ms Fox is a member of the advisory board of the influential non-profit US-Ireland Alliance, and is also a co-founder of CoderDojo LA.

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