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Inspiring Alumni

photo of David Humphreys MBE, Former Irish Rugby Captain
David Humphreys MBE, LLB 1994

David Humphries has represented Ulster rugby 162 times including the Heineken Cup in 1999 and played for Ireland on 72 occasions.

Following his retirement he became operations director at Ulster before taking up the director of rugby post at Gloucester in 2014.

Anthony Tohill, BEng (Civil Engineering) 1994

A retired Irish Gaelic footballer, Anthony Tohill played for Derry winning the 1993 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and managed Ireland's International Rules side.

Anthony has served as a senior official for Derry City Council and in 2014 he was appointed as the Chief Executive of the Mid Ulster District Council.

photo of Radio 1 DJ, Annie Mac
Annie MacManus, BA English 1999
At the forefront of new music

Better known as Radio 1's Annie Mac, she has been the host of the station's new music show since 2015. Proud of her Queen's roots, Annie's first steps towards superstardom were at Shine in the Students' Union.

Luke Eastwood, LLB 2011

Barrister Luke Eastwood is co-founder/COO of Space Hop, an innovative solution for freelancers who need professional affordable and stylish office space.

Space Hop initially showcased 50 private properties in London for rent by independent workers. is now launched offering workspaces across the UK and has featured on BBC, Huffington Post and The Daily Telegraph, among others.

Ramona Nicholas, BSc Pharmacy 1998

Ramona Nichola, a self-made entrepreneur, is the Joint Managing Director of the Cara Pharmacy Group, formed along with her husband in 2002, and employs over 180 people.

More recently Ramona took up a role as a ‘Dragon’ on the 5th series of Dragons Den Ireland, becoming the youngest-ever panellist on the show.

Professor Maire O'Neill
Máire O'Neill, MEng 1999
British Female Inventor of the Year 2007

Máire O’Neill is widely regarded as one of Europe’s leading cryptography experts working to enhance global data security. She received the prestigious 2014 Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal, one of only five engineers who have received the medal in national recognition for their contribution to society.

Queen's alumni and comedian, Patrick Kielty
Patrick Kielty, BSSc Psychology 1992

Patrick Kiely is one of Northern Ireland's most celebrated entertainers.

He is best-known as a stand-up comedian and TV presenter, as well as his notable work for numerous charitable causes and is married to television presenter, Cat Deeley.

Colonel Tim Collins, BSSc Social Sciences 1991

Colonel Tim Collins now famous eve-of-battle speech to British soldiers hours before they entered into battle in the war in Iraq made headlines around the world.

He was appointed commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment in 2001 and is currently CEO of intelligence-based security services company, New Century.

The Rt Hon. the Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, LLB 1969

Baron Brian Kerr is a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland.

Lord Kerr was made a Privy Counsellor in 2004 and served as Lord Chief Justice from this time until 2009, when he became a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary and Justice of the Supreme Court.

Paul Muldoon, BA English 1973

Paul Muldoon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish Poet and has published over 30 collections and Poetry Editor at The New Yorker.

He is both the Howard GB Clark '21 Professor in the Humanities and the Chair of the Lewis Centre for the Arts at Princeton University.

Professor James Francis Pantridge
The father of emergency medicine

Professor Pantridge was a physician and cardiologist who transformed emergency medicine and paramedic services with the invention of the portable defibrillator. In 1969 he was appointed Officer of the Order of St. John (OStJ) and he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1979 New Year's Honours.

Mary McAleese, LLB 1973

After graduating Mary McAleese was called to the Northern Irish Bar in 1974 and practised criminal and family law.

Serving as the eighth President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011, She was the second female president and is the first President of Ireland to have come from Northern Ireland. She remains a member of the Irish Bar.

Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah Salim, LLB 1971, LLM 1974, DUniv 2006

A lawyer by qualification, Tan Sri Datuk Rafiah Salim was the first female Vice-Chancellor in Malaysia, posted to University Malaya.

Rafiah has three decades of experience sin the public and private sectors and at international level and currently serves as the Director of the NAM Institute for the Empowerment of Women.

Sonia Flynn, MA German literature 1998
Taking care of business on a global scale

Sonia has strong international management experience with multinational technology companies. Ms Flynn was appointed International Vice-President for the Swedish audio platform company SoundCloud in 2015, having previously been MD of Facebook Ireland.

Conor Boyle, BA Hons Business Admin and French, 2000

Conor Boyle has worked for Lidl since 2002 in a range of positions throughout Europe.

He was appointed Chief Executive of Lidl Sweden in August 2013 and in February 2016, it was announced that he will be returning to a new post in Northern Ireland.

Stephen Rea, BA English 1965

Stephen Rae is an Irish actor appearing in major films such as V for Vendetta and Interview with the Vampire.

Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game and in 2015 he received a BAFTA for the Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of an MI6 boss in the BBC Two spy drama, The Honourable Woman.

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Honorary Graduates