Graduate Election / Toghchán na gCéimithe



Ger Aherne

Brigadier General (Retd) Ger Aherne B.A. (1975) LL.M. (2003)

I am currently – for a second term – an elected member of the Alumni Board of the University.

Alumni affairs need a respected and authoritative voice in the University’s life and affairs in what are challenging times for third-level education. I have been a leading proponent of the re-positioning of NUIG to its former, pre-eminent, rank in Third-Level sport. This has led to the recent, significant, appointment of the first Director of Sport and Physical Activity at the University. 

I served in the Defence Forces for 42 years and saw service in the Middle East, Balkans and Africa with the UN, EU, NATO and OSCE. Most recently, I was Deputy Commander of forces in Chad with the UN, and commanded the EU’s military force in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Currently, I advise on International Conflict at the Kennedy Institute, Maynooth University, work with Transparency International, Chairman of Green Aviation, and a Principal with Bua Partners. I sit on the Board of Traidlinks and I am a member of the GAA’s Strategic Policy Group. 


Conor Fottrell

CONOR FOTTRELL B.A. (1994) LL.B (1997)

I am seeking your support for re-election, on the Graduate/Alumni Panel, to Údarás na hOllscoille (the Údarás) of the National University of Ireland Galway.

I was elected to the Údarás for the first time in January 2013 and I have served on the Finance & Resource Committee and the Audit Committee. During my time on the Údarás I have had a particular interest in the issues of student services & supports, gender equality and University resources.

I have participated fully at all Governing Authority and committee meetings contributing on all aspects of governance, oversight and promoting the best interests of the University.

I am a Partner in Mason Hayes & Curran solicitors in Dublin wherein I specialise in child and family law. I have fourteen years experience as a solicitor and prior to this I worked in the Chief State Solicitors office and RDJ Glynn solicitors in Galway.


John Glynn

I have the unique perspective of combining having worked in NUI Galway as University Solicitor with now being Group General Counsel of Fintrax, which is Galway’s and the Gaeltacht’s most successful indigenous company, operating in 26 countries.  I combine an intimate knowledge of University Governance with wider business and financial expertise.

I'm unaligned to any political party, the current management or past management of NUI Galway.  My goal lies solely in promoting our University; strengthening its ties with the wider community in Galway and beyond, and securing its future.  NUI Galway will thrive when we work together to that same goal. Tugann an Ghaeilge bunús cultúrtha do forbairt na hOllscoile.  The Gaeltacht based business in which I work has achieved international notoriety in its field, employing Irish speaking staff.  I would welcome the opportunity to share the experience of this success with the University.

Born and living in Galway, I, my wife Sinead and our two children are committed to Galway and NUI Galway’s future.  Please do consider me when voting. Beir bua agus beannacht, John


Maria Keogh

Maria graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Geography, and has furthered her studies with a Higher Diploma in Education.

She has five years experience in teaching, with some of her students having been awarded Certifications of Appreciation, by Mayor Trevor Snaith. She has also organised many fundraisers for The Prince's Trust, RSVP, and the Imani Orphanage in Kenya. She has coordinated 'BAFTA Into Film Events' where students meet, and interviewed film guru's such as Mark Solomon and Helen Bonham Carter.

Maria founded Croi8 Productions, an Irish Theatre Company. The company staged many plays in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway, raising money for St Vincent De Paul and Comic Relief. Croi8 was the first theatre company in Ireland to be a part of the Royal Shakespeare Open Stage Programme. Croi8 staged an adaptation of the Merchant of Venice at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

Maria has a keen interest in Education Equality, especially for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. She is a regular contributor for the Education & University blog on the Huffington Post UK.


Eoin Neylon
  • BE Civil Engineering, NUIG (2008)
  • MSc(Eng) Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh (2009)
  • Member of the Senate of the University of Glasgow
  • President of Ógra Fianna Fáil
  • Self-employed building contractor

Eoin has a proven record of representing graduates at national and international level. He has experience in policy formation in areas such as Youth Entrepreneurship and Third-Level Funding. Ahead of the publication of the Cassell’s report into education funding, this experience will be important in helping implement the recommended changes. NUI Galway can emerge with the best reputation for innovation, entrepreneurship and social mobility among graduates.

Tá cruthaithe go fónta ag Eoin agus é ag feidhmiú ar son chéimithe ag leibhéal náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Tá taithí aige polasaithe a cheapadh maidir le fiontraíocht óige agus maoiniú tríú leibhéal. Agus tuarascáil Cassell faoi mhaoiniú oideachais le foilsiú ar ball, beidh an taithí seo tábhachtach chun na hathruithe molta a chur i bhfeidhm. Is féidir le OÉ Gaillimh an cháil is fearr a shaothrú le haghaidh nuálaíocht, fiontraíocht agus soghluaiseacht shóisialta i measc céimithe..


 Patrick Reilly

I have worked in higher education for more than ten years. I have been chief executive of Durham Students’ Union since 2011, where I introduced a new strategic direction focused on students’ futures, particularly around employability. On 1st February, I will become the director of student life at the University of Essex, a role which incorporates employability, student support, retention and progression.

In 2007, I established a students’ union in a new institution, University Campus Suffolk, where I worked as general manager. Prior to this, I served as education officer (2002-2004) and president (2004-2006) of NUI Galway Students' Union; I was a member of Údarás na hOllscoile and the Academic Council during this time.

I hold a degree in engineering (NUI Galway, 2002) and a postgraduate certificate in management studies (East Anglia/Essex, 2011). I am currently a part-time MBA student at Northumbria University. I am a trustee of a HIV charity in Newcastle upon Tyne and a governor of an outstanding-rated primary school located in one of the most deprived areas in England.

Contact me on Twitter: @paddyreilly