UCD Smurfit MBA Graduation Ball

The MBA Classes of 2017 traded caps and gowns for glitz and glam within a few days in early December. On Saturday December 9th, the eagerly anticipated Smurfit MBA Graduation Ball 2017 was held in The Hilton Hotel, Charlemont, Dublin.

With over 130 people in attendance, the black-tie event was thoroughly enjoyable and the perfect way for the graduating classes to celebrate reaching the MBA finish line together with partners and friends who provided support throughout the journey.

grad-pic-4The event, which raised €7,000, was organised by 2017 MBA graduates: Anne Marie Barcoe, Ciarán Hope, Tanya Kenny and Catherine O’Brien. Following the lead of last year’s class, it was decided to use the event as an opportunity to raise funds for charity. The class elected to once again support Spinal Injuries Ireland, and this year it was decided to also support Friends of St Lukes Cancer Care Rathgar. Both charities are very worthy causes, and the vital funds raised on the night will contribute to the important work they do to support their patients and families, so details on how the donation will be used are outlined below.

A charity raffle was entertainingly compered on the night by MBA graduates Fenton Murphy and Marcus O’Dwyer. The very generously donated raffle items generated much interest with hotel stays, rugby tickets, sports jerseys and electrical items among the prizes on offer. There were also spot prizes awarded for Best Dressed Lady (Christine Kiernan) and Best Dressed Gent (Brian McGrath).

The funds raised by Smurfit MBA graduates, current students, alumni, Aspire scholars, and Smurfit school staff, together with partners and friends, means we are all part of doing something very positive. Sincere thanks for the incredible generosity by all who attended the event.

The committee would also like to acknowledge the generous support of all those who helped in the run up to the ball, especially our prize donors and sponsors.

MBA Graduation Ball 2017 Committee

Anne Marie Barcoe | Ciarán Hope | Tanya Kenny | Catherine O’Brien

Spinal Injuries Ireland will use the donation to grow their national Peer Support programme entitled ‘Someone Like Me’. When patients have returned home, after completing their rehabilitation at the NRH, SII works alongside them and their families to support full integration into their local communities. More information available https://spinalinjuries.ie/ or follow them on Facebook @SpinalInjuriesIreland

During 2018 The Friends of St Luke’s Cancer Care are fund raising for  some very important projects across the Network which include; Child and Adolescent play areas for their paediatric service. St Luke’s is the only centre that provides Paediatric Radiation Therapy, Gated VMAT Radiotherapy, 3D Bolus Printer for treatments, PICC line ultrasound system for the Day Ward and many other projects. More information available https://www.friendsofstlukes.ie/ or follow them on Facebook @friendsofstlukes


UCD Smurfit MBA Graduation Ball raises €8,500 for Spinal Injuries Ireland


Fabulous frocks and classy tuxedos were the order of the evening at the annual UCD Smurfit MBA Graduation Ball, which was held on December 10th at The Gibson Hotel, Dublin. This year, the organising committee decided to use the Ball as an opportunity to raise funds for Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII).  With over 110 people in attendance, the black-tie event was a complete success.



All money raised by Smurfit MBA graduates, current students, alumni, Aspire scholars, and Smurfit school staff, together with their partners and friends, will help SII to provide effective support services for individuals with a spinal cord injury and their families.



Special guest, Kevin Dempsey from SII explained the invaluable work of the charity before guests were treated to a four-course meal, followed by a raffle and charity auction, masterfully compared by Jack Mac Giolla-Bhride.  Auction items included signed Leinster and Ireland rugby jerseys, a top-of-the-range Whirlpool washing machine, and five-star hotel getaways. Bidding was hotly contested with Cormac Kelleher, Sean Griffin and Michelle Mary McEvoy walking away with the top lots.

There were also several spot prizes awarded, including Best Dressed Lady (Muireann McCarthy) and Best Dressed Gent (Conor Connolly) and Most Air Miles Travelled (Vince and Sonya Cooney).  After the meal, guests were entertained by 80s super group Spring Break and dancing continued into the wee hours of the morning.


 The event, which raised €8,500 for Spinal Injuries Ireland, was organised by Dorothy Chestnutt, Barbara Gilleran, Ciarán Reilly and John Ryan (UCD MBA Class of 2016). Spinal Injuries Ireland CEO Fiona Bolger said: “We were delighted that the organising committee selected SII as their charity partner for the graduation ball.  In addition to the amazing donations that we received, the event helped to raise awareness of the devastating impact that a spinal cord injury can have. On average, one person sustains a spinal cord injury every week and it can happen to anyone at any stage. The funds raised from the event will go towards crucial services such as our Community Outreach Programme which provides support and information to people living with a spinal cord injury and their families.”

The organising committee presents Kevin Dempsey of Spinal injuries Ireland with a cheque for €8,500.  (Pictured L-R: Ciarán Reilly, Barbara Gilleran, Kevin Dempsey, Dorothy Chestnutt, John Ryan)
The organising committee presents Kevin Dempsey of Spinal injuries Ireland with a cheque for €8,500 (Pictured L-R: Ciarán Reilly, Barbara Gilleran, Kevin Dempsey, Dorothy Chestnutt, John Ryan)

The organising committee were delighted that the event was successful with vital funds being raised for a very worthy cause. The committee would like to acknowledge the generous support of all those who helped in the run up to the ball, prize donors and sponsors, especially our main sponsor Enowine, who supplied wine for the event. 9In addition, sincere thanks for the incredible generosity by all who came to the event and to those who unfortunately could not join us, yet still donated.

Best wishes for 2017!

2016 MBA Graduation Ball Committee ~ Dorothy Chestnutt, Barbara Gilleran, Ciarán Reilly, and John Ryan



MBA Gala Ball in Aid of Spinal Injuries Ireland



Smurfit MBAs are cordially invited to this year’s MBA Gala Ball in aid of Spinal Injuries Ireland

Excitement is building among this years’ UCD Smurfit MBA graduating class for the Gala Ball in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin on Saturday 10th December 2016. This year the conventional graduation ball will double as a Black Tie charity event in aid of Spinal Injuries Ireland. The organising committee also wishes to extend an invite to the current Smurfit MBA classes and Smurfit MBA alumni.

The committee have been busy in recent weeks organising everything behind the scenes! Guests will be treated to a four course meal followed by entertainment from in-demand 80’s tribute act, Spring Break. There will also be a raffle and spot prizes on the night. Prizes include overnight stays in four and five star hotels, signed rugby memorabilia, tickets to sports events, and vouchers.


Imagine your life changing irrevocably in a split second. Over 1,800 people in Ireland live with a spinal injury. The majority are aged between 18–35 and 70% never return to work. Spinal Injuries Ireland is the only support service for people who have sustained such injuries.  Just 40% of funding is provided by the HSE, the rest is through fundraising and donations. Spinal Injuries Ireland has been trading at a loss for the past two years and therefore is in urgent need of support.


This is a one-time special event and the MBA Class of 2016 would greatly appreciate all the support they can get. This is a fantastic opportunity to network with fellow MBAs, so why not get together and organise a table?  Please join us on 10th December to raise vital funds for Spinal Injuries Ireland and have a great night in the process! Tickets are €100 each. For details on how to purchase your ticket(s), please email mbaball2016@gmail.com.


If you can’t be there on the night, donations are also greatly appreciated. These can be made via PayPal to mbaball2016@gmail.com. Simply include a note that identifies it as a donation. Alternatively, please email us at the above address if you would like to donate using a different payment method.


Finally exclusively for gents:  There is a 10% discount on tuxedo hire from Tangos. If 20 people hire a tux from Tangos they will donate 10% of the cost of hire to Spinal Injuries Ireland. Check out Tangos Tuxedo Rental for all information on fittings, location and opening times. To get the code, please email mbaball2016@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you there!

2016 MBA Graduation Ball Committee ~ Dorothy Chestnutt, Barbara Gilleran, Ciarán Reilly, and John Ryan

A Day in the K Club with Special Olympians

The UCD Smurfit MBA Golf Society Classic


On Friday June 24th last, the UCD Smurfit MBA Golf Society held its latest event – the summer golf classic in the fabulous environs of the K Club in County Kildare, owned by the name sponsor of our school, Dr. Michael W.J. Smurfit.

We were joined on the day by current students, alumni and supporters of UCD. Also, as special guests, we had two Special Olympians and staff from the Special Olympics Ireland who took part in the day’s golf event.

The course proved challenging and up to its mark as a championship course. With scoring conditions tough, many participants found the scramble format somewhat of a relief and this hopefully added to their enjoying the day.


A good selection of prizes were arranged by the committee with first prize being a fourball back to the K Club. This was won by the Special Olympics team and well deserved to say the least. An alumni team took second prize which consisted of a set of Cleveland wedges and Titleist golf umbrellas for third place was taken by current students. A number of top raffle prizes were also donated and given to the various winners.

The staff at the K Club ensured we had an enjoyable day despite some rain early in the proceedings and even arranged for local swans to greet golfers as they made their way along the course. We would like to thank The Smurfit MBA office for providing a budget for our event and our hole sponsors for the day – Business Change Management, Business Performance Perspectives, Geith International Limited, NxtGen, The Ash Tree Bar and Philip Lee. With their help and everyone else who attended we raised €1,705 which will be donated to the Special Olympics Ireland.


As is obligatory, the 19th hole was visited after the rounds were completed followed by dinner and prize-giving in the K Club Palmer Clubhouse. An eventful bus journey then returned us to the Smurfit School where further reflection on the standard of our golf was discussed in Flash Harry’s of Blackrock.

It’s hard to find a better way to spend a summer’s day than on the golf course followed by a meal among friends and of course doing it all for a worthy cause.

Ciaran O’Shea ~ Executive MBA

Mike’s Mo’s: Growing For A Good Cause

Left to right: Vince Cooney, Michael McDonnell, Sumit Chopra, Arka Banerjee, Finbarr Coghlan, Sreekanth Nagabhushana, Siddarth Raghunathan, Patrick Farrell, Minh Le, and Majid Al-Farayedhi (looking like an extra from Tron).
Left to right: Vince Cooney, Michael McDonnell, Sumit Chopra, Arka Banerjee, Finbarr Coghlan, Sreekanth Nagabhushana, Siddarth Raghunathan, Patrick Farrell, Minh Le, and Majid Al-Farayedhi (looking like an extra from Tron).

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is most known well for sculpting minds and international leaders. In November, it has also become known for sculpting some of the finest mustaches seen this side of Magnum P.I.’s final episode. As part of the Movember campaign, we’ve been growing mustaches to break the ice, start important conversations, and raise funds for research on hard-to-discuss cancer and mental health issues.

All my wife wants for Christmas is for me to shave this thing off!
All my wife wants for Christmas is for me to shave this thing off!
"I want you, to support Men's Health and Mental Awareness Initiatives" - Finbarr Coghlan
“I want you, to support Men’s Health and Mental Awareness Initiatives” – Finbarr Coghlan

At time of writing, your very own Smurfit Mike’s Mo’s team is ranked #280 in Ireland. If you’d like to help the cause and bring your team up the ranking, you can do so at the following link.  Donations of any and all sizes (just like our Mo’s!) are greatly appreciated.

Click here to donate.

Vote here for the best mo!

Yours, most truly,​

​Vince Cooney (C.E.Mo.​) and his band of merry mustachioed men ​

So, 126.28km later and we’re back to the Books! – Wings for Life World Run!

Life moves so fast… We are at the end of Semester 2 and there are so many events on! I have finally recovered from the race to get this blog together :)


On Sunday, the rain stopped just in time for over 2,000 runners to run as far as they can from Dún Laoghaire south to the heartland of Wicklow. Having been launched in 2014, the Wings for Life World Run is the only race in the world where the finish line actually chases and catches the athletes! What is refreshing about this event is that 100% of the race proceeds fund spinal cord injury research. You can still donate to the foundation today!

MBAs from the Full Time and Executive classes got together with alumni and friends to run for World Sports Team.

Instead of punishing our brains, we punished our bodies by taking on the gruelling hills in support of World Sports Team. All of us proudly support the growth of this global network of sportspeople which helps those affected by catastrophic sports injuries. We faced a few challenging ascents on the course, but these cannot be compared to the challenges endured by those who cannot run. Join the team at WorldSportsTeam.org

It was great to have an opportunity to be involved with the Wings For Life Foundation and World Sports Team’s missions. Collectively, the team – Karen, Eva, Elaine, Cormac, Tomas, Cathal, Niall, and Lindsey – ran 126.28km!

Lindsey Nguyen ~ Full-Time MBA

Wings for Life World Run


Red Bull Wings for Life Run is happening on 3 May 2015 in Dun Laoghaire. The MBA Social Outreach Society and MBA Golf Society have joined forces to run on behalf of World Sports Team.


The concept is, you set a goal/distance and try to reach it before the chaser car gets to you! It’s a pretty cool/fun run that takes place all over the world.


This run aims to raise awareness and funds for people who can’t run. Moreover, the spinal chord research and support aligns well with World Sports Team’s mission to build a network for people who suffer catastrophic sports injuries.

By the way, your goal doesn’t have to be huge! If you are interested in joining us you can register here and then join the team once you’ve completed registration.


Lindsey Nguyen ~ Full Time MBA

UCD Smurfit MBA supports Plan Ireland

To celebrate ‘International Day of the Girl’ on 11th October, Plan Ireland held its Because I am a Girl Ball in the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel, Dublin.

Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global initiative to educate girls across the developing world. To do this, Plan International identify the key barriers to girls’ education – child marriage forced labour, sexual violence, early pregnancy and more – and break them.

Susi Geiger & Eva Wedenberg

The focus of the campaign is girls, because a girl in the developing world faces overwhelming odds from the day she is born. But Plan is reversing these odds, they have reached a crucial tipping point and are making real progress. More girls than ever are being given the chance of education and the tide is turning. More and more of today’s mothers have seen the value of education. Fathers, communities and governments are following.

Associate Professor, Susi Geiger, was amongst the attendees at the ball; “Every girl has the right to an education. It’s apt that the female MBA staff support this great cause (and we have a great night out while doing so)!”

Over the next four years, Because I am a Girl projects will support four million girls to get the education, skills and support they need to move themselves from poverty to opportunity.

Elena Ranguelova & Roisin O'Loughlin

Plan Ireland held the ball in support of this initiative and both the Smurfit MBA team and students supported the event and enjoyed a wonderful evening at the ball.

Adela Perez & Caragh Curran

Support from events such as the ball allow Plan to implement projects that tackle some of the biggest challenges that girls face in developing countries. They believe that supporting girls is one of the best investments we can make in the world today. Removing barriers for girls’ means, not only a better life for them, but a safer, healthier and prosperous world for us all. To find out more information or to support to the cause, click here

Avril Donohue

MBA Senior Programme Coordinator