Trinity honours ten high-achieving graduates at 2023 Alumni Awards

Posted on: 20 October 2023

The acclaimed author Anne Enright joined nine other high achievers from a wide variety of fields who were celebrated at the 2023 Trinity College Dublin Alumni Awards.

The acclaimed author Anne Enright (pictured below with Provost Dr Linda Doyle)) joined nine other high achievers from a wide variety of fields who were celebrated at the 2023 Trinity College Dublin Alumni Awards. 

Recipients of the 2023 Alumni awards on the steps of the Dining Hall

Alumni awards also went to former Dublin GAA manager Pat Gilroy (back row on left), entrepreneur Eva Pau, journalist Rory Carroll (front row, right), epidemiologist Susan Hopkins (back row on right), Tiglin founder Aubrey McCarthy (second from left, back row), pipe organ builder Kenneth Jones, Exponent chairman Paul Johnston, financier Alan Dargan (back row, second from right) and humanitarian worker Fotini Rantsiou (front row on left). 

Alumni awards are a recognition by Trinity of the important contributions that alumni have made in their field. These individuals have made a substantial mark in their fields professionally and as citizens of the world.  

Awardees are selected by an Alumni Awards Committee made up of members of the Provost’s Office, Trinity Association & Trust, Secretary’s Office, Trinity Communications, and the Alumni Office. 

A special recognition award also went to the chair of the Trinity Association & Trust, Kingsley Aikins (pictured above second from left in front row), in recognition of his long years of voluntary service to Trinity. 

writer Anne Enright with Provost Dr Linda Doyle in a stairwell at Trinity

More details on the award winners are as follows:  

Eva Pau, Entrepreneur, Community Leader 

Trinity degree: Information and Communications Technology, 2003 

Eva completed her university studies at Trinity in 2003 and Lancaster in 2005). She went on to work in international finance in Hong Kong, before returning to Dublin in 2012 to take on the role of Commercial Director of Asia Market. With a turnover of €56m, Asia Market is Ireland’s largest Asian food retailer, wholesaler, and distributor with over 160 multinational employees. A successful family business, established in 1981, it has grown exponentially over the last 10 years to include the original Drury Street store, a larger outlet in Ballymount, a thriving on-line store and Duck, a Hong-Kong style barbecue restaurant. Eva plans for further growth and expansion which will see Asia Market become Ireland’s one stop shop for all things Asian in Ireland. 

Eva is one of Ireland’s leading businesswomen. Eva’s success in transforming a small family business was recognised in 2022 when she was awarded IMAGE PwC Businesswoman of the Year. Eva has extensive knowledge of the Chinese communities in both Ireland and China. She is a member of the Trinity Centre for Asian Studies Advisory Council, which provides independent advice on the centre’s strategy and external engagement, as well as the Vice Chair of the Chinese Society of Ireland. She is recognised as a leader in Ireland’s food industry and is a regular contributor to Ireland AM. As one of the most prominent Asian women in Ireland, Eva’s achievements in business also make her a representative of, and role model for, the Asian community in Ireland. 

Anne Enright, author 

Trinity degree: English and Philosophy, 1985 

Writer Anne Enright is the author of seven novels, two books of short stories and a book of essays on motherhood. Her essays have appeared in the London Review of Books and The New York Review of Books, she has also written for The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Dublin Review and The Paris Review. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in English & Philosophy, then studied under Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury in East Anglia's acclaimed Creative Writing Course, earning her MA. She was a television producer and director at RTE for several years before turning to writing full time. She is a Professor of Creative Writing in the School of English, Drama and Film at UCD (UNIVERSITY College Dublin). Anne was appointed the first Laureate for Irish Fiction (2015-2018) by then-Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Her second novel, What are you like?, was shortlisted for the 2000 Whitbread Awards. She won the Man Booker Prize (2007) for her fourth novel The Gathering. Her novel The Forgotten Waltz won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction (2012) and was shortlisted for The Orange Prize that same year. She has won the Irish Novel of the Year award twice (2008 & 2016). She received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature in 2018. Her work has been translated into almost 40 languages. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society for Literature in 2007. 

Rory Carroll, Irish Correspondent for the Guardian 

Trinity degree: Economics and Social Studies, 1994 

Rory Carroll at Alumni awards

Rory Carroll is currently the Ireland correspondent for The Guardian. After graduating from Trinity, he began his career at The Irish News in Belfast (1995- 1997). From here he joined the Guardian where he has been a foreign correspondent for over two decades, covering Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq, the Balkans, Latin America, Serbia, Yemen, and the US. He is also the author of two very well-received books. Carroll is noted for his powerful, brave, independent journalism. His reportage from Baghdad is a case in point, where, as Head of the Guardian’s bureau from 2005, he covered the US occupation, suicide bombings and growing sectarian tensions. In this year of the 25th anniversary of the GFA, Carroll is making the complexities of Northern Irish politics accessible to a wide audience. Carroll was named young journalist of the year in Northern Ireland's media awards in 1997. From here his career has been marked by similar accolades for his political and social justice reporting. He was long-listed for the prestigious UK Orwell prize for his coverage of Mexico’s drug war and Haiti’s earthquake. 

Susan Hopkins, Director of the UK National Strategic Response, Epidemiologist 

Trinity degree: Medicine, 1997 

Susan Hopkins graduated in medicine in 1997 and trained in infectious diseases and epidemiology in Ireland, UK, and France. She is a consultant in infectious diseases and microbiology at the Royal Free London and professor of infectious diseases and health security at UCL. She was UK National strategic response director for Covid-19 from 2020-22. She is currently the Chief medical advisor to the UK Health Security Agency. She has received the Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award and an honorary CBE. 

As director of the UK National Strategic Response for Covid-19 she led the UK through the worldwide pandemic. 

Pat Gilroy, Managing Director of Breedon Ireland 

Trinity degree: Engineering, 1993 

Pat Gilroy graduated from Engineering in 1993. Since graduating he has worked in the Energy, Waste, Water and Construction sectors for nineteen years at CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and COO level. He has worked for Veolia,Dalkia, ESB and was a founder of a facility management company FP2 which was later acquired by Dalkia. He is currently the managing director of Breedon Ireland. 

Pat was a board member of One51 PLC and of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). He is a former President of the Ireland-France Chamber of Commerce and was awarded a Chevalier of the Ordre Du Merite in November 2015 in recognition of his work in developing a French business in Ireland. 

He is best recognised for his contribution to Dublin GAA, managing the side from 2009-2012 and leading them to their 2011 All-Ireland title, the first in 16 years. Under his leadership Dublin also won Leinster titles in 2009, 2011 and 2012. 

Aubrey McCarthy, Founder of Tiglin 

Trinity degree: Business Administration and Management, 1993 

Aubrey is a founder of the charity called Tiglin (founded in 2008); it provides services to the most vulnerable members of society ranging from frontline homeless work, rehabilitation, post-rehab aftercare, transitional housing, counselling, employment programs, education programs, refugee housing, social enterprise and more. 

Aubrey works full time running two small businesses while he is also the Chairman of DCM, South West Drugs and Alcohol Task Force, and Bluebell Regenerations Committee, as well as a Board member of Casadh. Currently, Tiglin runs seven services; Men's Residential Rehabilitation Centre, Women's Residential Rehabilitation, Carraig Eden Aftercare, Coolnagreina refugee hub, Greystones Rise at the Cove Social Enterprise Café, Jigginstown Manor, Tiglin Lighthouse Homeless Café. Aubrey has developed a social impact organisation from zero. 

Kenneth Jones, Pipe Organ Builder 

Trinity degree: Engineering, 1957 

Kenneth Jones was passionately musical as a youth, as well as an able mathematician and engineer. After graduating from Engineering in 1957 he worked in Nigeria, where his interest in organs grew and he spent long leave periods working with a famous organ builder in Holland. He built 25 organs in Africa then returned to Dublin in 1972 and started an organ-building firm in Bray. Over 30+ years, his firm built an extraordinary reputation designing and building superb new organs, and reconstructing and restoring historic ones, across the globe. These include many famous instruments, among them the historic organ at Tewkesbury Abbey. Jones’ original organs are visually beautiful and hugely varied, his work remarkable for its continuous, practical development. He was also a musician and conductor, and founder of the Dublin Orchestral Players. 

Paul Johnston, Chairman of Exponent 

Trinity degree: Engineering, 1976 

Paul Johnston is Chairman of Exponent, Inc., an engineering and scientific consulting firm headquartered in California with offices in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He joined the company in 1981, became Chief Operating Officer in 2003 and was Chief Executive Officer from 2009 until 2018. Paul was previously Consulting Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at Stanford and a member of the Stanford School of Engineering Advisory Council and the Trinity Engineering Board. He graduated from Trinity with an Engineering degree in 1976, having been elected a scholar the previous year. He earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering at Stanford University in 1981. Paul has been on the Provost’s Council of Trinity College since its inception. 

Alan Dargan, Founder, Lonsdale Capital Partners 

Trinity degree: Business, 1974 

Alan Dargan has had a stellar career as an international banker and latterly as an investment adviser and financier providing trusted investment advice to international governments, banks, and corporates. Alan graduated from Trinity Business School in 1974 and trained as a chartered accountant with Stokes Kennedy Crowley (now KPMG). He has worked in private equity finance and investment banking for over 30 years, becoming a managing director at both UBS and Credit Suisse in New York and London. In 2009 he founded the London-based private equity firm Lonsdale Capital Partners, and operating from bases in London and Dublin, Alan has been instrumental in advising and sourcing financial investment and support for several Irish businesses. An integral part of Trinity, Alan also serves on the Provost’s Council. 

Fotini Rantsiou, Humanitarian Worker 

Trinity degree: M.Phil Peace Studies, 1997 

Fotini was born and raised in Greece. The Yugoslav wars of the 1990s profoundly impacted her, and she decided to follow an MPhil in Peace Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. After her graduation, in 1998 she was seconded by Ireland to the United Nations Mission in Guatemala as a Human Rights Observer. This first deployment opened the way to a career in international organisations, with the UN, but also the European Union, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in the humanitarian, human rights and electoral sectors, in several countries in Middle East, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Balkans. 

She has worked with MSF and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Palestine (UNRWA); with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) in Geneva, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Central African Republic, Mozambique, Turkey; with the EU and the OSCE Election Observation Missions in Palestine, Lebanon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Venezuela, Bolivia, Bosnia, Serbia. She is currently assigned in Niger with UNOCHA, in charge of humanitarian access issues. 

During a break from international work, she supported the refugee response on the Greek islands during the crisis from 2015 to 2017. She specialises in emergency response to conflict and natural disaster emergencies. She is fluent in Greek, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and working on her Arabic. 

While spending time in Jerusalem, she met Ihab whom she now shares her life with. She still has itchy feet and loves knowing new places and cultures. 


A special recognition award went to:  

Kingsley Aikens, Chair of the Trinity Association & Trust 

Trinity degree: Economics and Politics, 1974 

Kingsley is an Economics and Politics graduate of Trinity who has worked in six countries around the world. He returned to live in Ireland in 2011 and established The Networking Institute. For ten years he worked for IDA Ireland and The Irish Trade Board and was based in Sydney. While there he established The Lansdowne Club – now one of the biggest Irish business networks outside Ireland. He then ran Ireland’s largest diaspora organisation, The Ireland Funds, and was based in Boston.  

During his 21 years with The Ireland Funds over a quarter of a billion dollars was raised for projects of Peace, Culture and Charity in Ireland. He is a former Trinity, Irish Universities, Vichy (France) and Leinster rugby representative and a Knight of the Campanile. In 2011 he was awarded a CBE for his work on British-Irish relations. He has retained a close connection to Trinity in all the countries he has lived in and is currently Chairman of the Trinity Association & Trust. Twelve members of his extended family are Trinity graduates. 

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