Do You Remember Ag Science at UCG?

1978-'79: Last 2nd Year Agricultural Science Students in UCG
This photo taken in 1979 shows the last second year agricultural science students to study in UCG.
Thanks to Leo Keary for donating this historic photograph.
Front row (L-R): Morgan Lane, Katherine Macklin, Emmet McGloin, Brendan Donoghue(RIP), Michael Murphy, Annette Wimms, Seimi Greene, Mary Pidgeon, Barbara Keaveney, Sheena O'Sullivan, Ray Daly.
Second Row (L-R): Liam Rushe, Leo Keary, John Fox, Tom Freeman, Brendan Stafford, Michael Neylon, Ritchie Lee, Kieran Forde, Joe Burke, Michael Murphy, Liam McDonnell.
Third Row (L-R): Eddie O'Riordan, John Staunton, Michael Fawle, Eugene Hennigan, Eamon Prendiville(RIP), Michael Hanley, Pat Deacy, Cyril Browne.

In 1974, the Irish government secured funding from the World Bank for the expansion of agricultural science in UCD. It was given on the proviso that general agricultural science would close in UCC and UCG with total centralisation in UCD.
UCC did so almost immediately as it concentrated on Dairy Science.
UCG hosted the first two years of Ag Science before the students moved onto Dublin for the completion of their degree.
But, unlike Cork, the ag science students in Galway fought hard to retain the two year course and to have it developed ultimately into a more specialised agricultural science degree suitable to the Western region. Led by Sheena O'Sullivan and actively supported by the UCG Students' Union (I was SU Vice President at the time), they lobbied all of the farming organisations and political parties. With ACOT (now Teagasc) having a major research and training centre in Athenry, there was a good case to be made for further development in Galway. Meetings were held in the Dept of Agriculture with its Junior Minister (Tom Hussey FF of east Galway); Fine Gael's spokesperson for Agriculture (John Bruton) and Labour's Michael D. Higgins. IFA and the ICMSA came onboard. University staff led by Dr. Tony Finan (Chemistry) also aligned to the campaign.
But, in spite of their best efforts, success unfortunately did not happen. It was felt later that the UCG authorities were prepared to let it go in the expectation that a fisheries degree course would be secured as a viable alternative.
First year agriculture science continued for a few more years as it was identical to First Science.
Over the years, the ag students played a big part in the life of the campus, none more so than the class of 1978-79. They were so missed by so many (including myself) when they departed.

UCG 78/'81 Reunion -Saturday November 17th at NUI Galway.

UCG 78/'81 Reunion-Celebrating a Golden Era of Student Life in Galway.
An exciting UCG reunion for the graduate classes of 1978 to 1981 will take place on Saturday November 17th at NUI Galway.`
The event will be an opportunity for students from this era to meet up with old friends, listen to talks from favourite lecturers and student characters, view an exhibition of UCG Life from 1975 to 1981, savour once again the banter and humorous heckling of a Lit ‘n’ Deb event and enjoy a buffet meal in the Student Union’s Bar (Sult) followed by the sounds of a 70s-themed disco with the legendary Gerry Sexton (‘Big G’) and 60s/70s classic live rock from 'Mouse & the Traps'.

Tickets can be obtained at the Eventbrite UCG 1978/'81 page:

2.00pm Meet-up in front of D’Arcy Thompson Theatre, Concourse.
2.30pm UCG Lit ‘n’ Deb entitled The Papal Visit of 2018 was truly honest and more beneficial for the people of Ireland than the Visit of 1979. Participants are Benny Irwin, Grainne McMorrow, Eugene O’Kelly, Jacqui O'Dowd, Joyce McGreevy and Joe Rice.
Venue: D’Arcy Thompson Theatre, Concourse.
3.30pm Intermission
3.50pm Lecture: Anglo-Irish Drama: The Hidden History by Prof. Hubert McDermott.
4.50pm Lecture: Gibs, Rag Ball & Toga Parties- an insider's story on the Fun & Frolics at UCG.
8.00pm A series of exhibitions on ‘School Days’, ‘Arcade Games’, & ‘UCG Life – 1975-1981’.

plus ‘In Memoriam' table with photos and candles of our friends from UCG days that have passed on.
8.15pm Seisiún in ‘Sult’ (Students’ Union) Bar
8.30pm Food Buffet and Music with ‘Big G’ 70’s Disco and ‘Mouse & the Traps’ (classic rock)

Do You Remember....the many different shades of Red in Student Politics?

Photo shows Mike Jennings and Padraig Mannion at the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) 1979 Congress in the Great Southern Hotel Killarney.
Both Mike and Padraig had served as President and Vice President of UCG Students' Union during 1977/78. Mike was USI Regional Organiser for Limerick for 1978-'79. Padraig was elected as Education Officer of USI for 1979-80. Both were then supporters of Sinn Féin Workers Party (SFWP) which was in all its different name versions (Official Sinn Féin, Republican Clubs etc) the most influential left-wing party in Irish student politics during the 1970s and into the early 1980s. The party was also affectionately known as the 'Stickies' due to the fact that members wore 'adhesive' Easter Lily badges in commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising whilst Provisional Sinn Féin members wore pinned versions.
But there were many other socialist parties that also maintained an active involvement in student politics at this time including Christian Socialists, Communist Party of Ireland Marxist Leninist, Militant Tendency and Revolutionary Struggle.

UCG Reunion Secures Laptops for Zambia

The monies raised at the 1978-1981 Reunion that took place on the weekend of November 30th to December 1st 2013 was used, along with an additional contribution from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway, to provide ten laptops for the students in a Zambian school supported by the Alan Kerins Projects charity. 
Thank you to all those people that attended that wonderful weekend and in the process helped such a worthy cause that has strong links to our own alma mater. 
Below is a letter from Pearse O'Toole of the Alan Kerins Projects.
Le beannacht,
Brendan Smith
Llando one of the Zambian students being presented with a laptop by Alan Kerins
Dear Brendan & Team,

This is a quick note to say a huge Thank You for your recent donation of 10 laptops to the Alan Kerins Projects.

Alan Kerins Projects have been working in Western Zambia since 2005. We have supported and continue to support orphanages, schools and rehabilitation centres for some of the most inspiring children one could ever meet. A partnership between ourselves and The Presentation Sisters has allowed hundreds of children to benefit from our ‘Education for All’ programme throughout the past 10 years. Last year saw the first of the children from the orphanage there continue on to third level education. This was a milestone for all involved and a very emotional one at that.

As part of a ’Discovery’ trip to Zambia we carried with us 10 laptops kindly donated by your group. Handing over these laptops to students about to embark on third level education will stand out as one of the most emotional moments in the participants lives. The pride and determination beaming from each student as they received their new gift was a telling experience for us all.

Your generosity has enabled the next generation of teachers, doctors and engineers in a land so rich in determination. For this we say ‘Míle Buíochas’.

From All at Alan Kerins Projects, Thank You.

Do You Remember...When It Was Cool to Have & to Share a Smoke!?

Eugene Scanlan & Mags Amond lovingly share their cigarettes at a UCG Dress Dance c1979.

Do You Remember...the Wooden Hut at the back of the garden that qualified as Student Accommodation?

Eileen Mahoney & Mary Murphy standing outside Maura Butler's chalet
Wooden huts aka Chalets were erected in back gardens by many house-owners in Galway City during the 1970s to serve as student accommodation units. They normally consisted of one small bedroom, a kitchen/dining room and a toilet/shower closet.
Damp and drafty for most the year, they absolutely froze during the winter!
Heating was normally provided by a small mobile fume-oozing Calor Kosangas heater.

Do You Remember...the Anti-Nuclear Concerts at Carnsore Point?

The late 1970s witnessed the birth of a countrywide environmental movement based on opposition to the Irish government’s proposals to build Ireland’s first nuclear power station which was to be located at Carnsore Point in Wexford

The oil crisis of 1973 was the catalyst for this policy. Anti-nuclear groups spring up across the country to campaign against this decision with many members drawn from third level colleges. Students from UCG joined this new anti-nuclear movement including members of the UCG Friends of the Earth.

Environmentalists organised a series of highly successful concerts at Carnsore Point from 1978 to 1981 that featured many of the country’s top folk and rock musicians including Christy Moore, Barry Moore, Clannad and Andy Irvine.


The International nightclub was a small dark underground club in the middle of Salthill village. But nevertheless it was amongst the top three clubs in Salthill for students in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

'Big G' Disco Returns to Galway for 2018 UCG Reunion!

Gerry Sexton, the most exuberant of disc jockeys in the late 1970s and early 1980s, returns to Galway on November 17th to present his unique music show at the 1978-1981 UCG Reunion. 

With his 'ration of passion' disco extravaganza, Gerry brought a smile on everyone's face that danced the night away to the sounds of Boney M, Sweet, Showaddywaddy, Mud, Bee Gees, Suzi Quatro, Beatles, Ottawan, Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer...


Associated with Punk Music and probably invented by Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols in 1976, pogo dancing involves dancers jumping up and down, while remaining in the same location. It takes its name from its resemblance to the use of a pogo stick, especially in a common version of the dance, where an individual keeps their torso stiff, their arms rigid, and their legs close together. 

The event was one of many innovative ideas organised by arts maestro Ollie Jennings in February 1978 when he was director of probably the most fun-packed UCG College Week ever.

This photo is posted in honour of the fact that, on October 27th 1977, the legendary and generation shaping Sex Pistols released their only studio album, "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols".


The Aula Maxima in the Quadangle UCG was a popular disco venue for students on Friday and Saturday nights during the 1970s and much of the 1980s. 
It was a high octane dance venue with no alcohol on sale. Even in an era of nightclubs and bars, that did not deter the place from being mobbed. 

On one side of the hall, there was located a 'mineral bar'; on the other side was the cloakroom. 

DJs at the time included the K-Tel Kids, Harry O'Beirne, 'Nervous Rex' (Terry Monaghan & Derrick, later of the Stunning) and the brilliant 'Big G' (aka Gerry Sexton).
The Big G disco makes a welcome return to the campus next month for the Reunion on November 30th.

Do You Remember...THE CAMOGIE GIRLS?

A copy of this photograph of a UCG Camogie cup-winning team from circa 1977-1978, with names of some of the players identified, is located on the BEO Digital Heritage Archives Online Photo Gallery at

Can you help identify others in this image? If so, contact us. Thanking you in advance!


This image is of the cover of a February 1980 edition of the independent UCG student known as 'Unity'. 
The series of comical drawings were done by Marie Drumgoole, a highly talented medical student.


It was arts impresario Ollie Jennings originally of UCG ArtsSoc and founder of the Smokey Joe's Folk Club, and Padraic Boran, UCG Students' Union Entertainment Officer, who were primarily responsible for placing Galway city on the international arts and music concert circuit.
They transformed Galway from being a sleepy backwater town into a major cosmopolitan city of culture.
Note: Layout and writing for this photo montage from the UCG Students' Union 'Forum' magazine, was done by Padraic Boran

Do You Remember...THE OLD COFFEE SHOP?

In the 1970s and 1980s, the old Coffee shop, located beside the Education and Enge buildings, served the best cup of coffee in Galway!

 The manageress was Peggy, who always had a kind word and a friendly smile for all her patrons.
Old style service in a quaint old world establishment!

Do You Remember ... THE UCG BOAT CLUB?

A sign of the summer at UCG in the 1970s was the appearance of boats on the Eglinton Canal. Many a student couple spent a romantic afternoon rowing up the River Corrib to picnic on some grassy shore.

The student in the foreground was Anthony Ryan, a 2nd year commerce student when this photograph was taken in summer 1976. Anthony is of course from the well known Anthony Ryan Fashions store in Shop Street.


The Student Union general and assembly meetings of the 1970s and 1980s were opportunities for students to discuss, argue, shout, insult(not a lot though!) and ultimately vote on all the great controversial issues of Ireland and the world including Abortion, Family Planning services, Condoms, Gay Rights, the H-Blocks Hunger Strikes, Soviet invasion of Afghanistan,  US involvement in Latin America, Student Fees, Grants....

Photograph is from 1977


Note: An annotated and tagged version of the photograph with all players, coach & club president identified is located at the BEO Digital Heritage Archive gallery at


From the mid-1970s, outdoor rock music concerts started to be held across Ireland, from Dalymount Park to the greatest of them all - Lisdoonvarna in county Clare.
This photograph shows Boomtown Rats at Dalymount Park in Dublin on August 21st 1977. Other bands on stage on that memorable evening included the 'Radiators from Space' and Thin Lizzy.

It was rumoured at the time that Elvis Costello was to appear at the gig. The story was told that people were to run across the pitch during half time of a GAA match taking place that same afternoon holding banners with the message 'Elvis is playing Dalymount Park'!

But the other Elvis (Presley) had died a few days before the concert. So the publicity stunt was cancelled.