University of Limerick honours its influential graduates

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

Sports coach and mentor David Mahedy of the UL Arena was one of three graduates to receive an alumni award from UL. Picture: Sean Curtin
SPORTS coach and mentor David Mahedy is one of three people to be honoured by the University of Limerick, and hailed as an example of the kind of graduate the country needs.

SPORTS coach and mentor David Mahedy is one of three people to be honoured by the University of Limerick, and hailed as an example of the kind of graduate the country needs.

Mr Mahedy, director of sports at the UL Arena, was presented with an alumni award by the University of Limerick Alumni Association (ULAA) at their ninth annual awards gala dinner on Saturday.

The event celebrates the outstanding achievements of graduates of the University of Limerick and this year is no exception with three UL alumni honoured: entrepreneur and chief executive officer at Version 1, Justin Keatinge, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1991; Mr Mahedy, who graduated with a BA in 1978; and business leader, president and chief executive of Kerry Ingredients and Flavours, Eoin O’Connell, who graduated with a BBS in 1986.

Speaking at the gala dinner, UL president, Professor Don Barry said “these three individuals have contributed in one way or another to creating a better world”.

“Justin and Eoin have contributed significantly to industry growth and development. They have embraced new technology and delivered effective new ways of doing things. Their business acumen or entrepreneurial drive has contributed to the growth of two very successful businesses.

“Dave saw a region with a significant love for sport and sought to create an environment here in UL to satisfy all sports enthusiasts. The UL Arena has gone from strength to strength contributing to UL’s place on the world stage.

“We need more of this activity in this country, more graduates willing to take a chance to expand businesses, to be more internationally focused, more innovative. I think the UL graduates are really paving the way.

“None of the award winners here tonight have stood still in their careers, they have continued to evolve, seeking new opportunities. That, in my opinion is the way forward,” said president Barry.

Since its inception in 2006, 26 UL alumni have been honoured at this annual awards celebration including rugby legend Tony Ward, composer Patrick Cassidy, former Riverdance star Jean Butler, former chief executive of the Kentz Corporation Dr Hugh O’Donnell, Boeing Commercial engineer of the year Dr Pio Fitzgerald, All-Ireland winning former Kerry footballer Pat Spillane, entrepreneur and chief executive officer of Dairymaster, Dr Edmond Harty, and former Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, the late Lt. Gen. Dermot Earley.