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Notable DCU alumni: Dedicated minds, brilliant careers

Dublin City University (DCU) has produced some of the most brilliant minds in the university’s young history. Established in 1975 and known then as the National Institute for Higher Education, it began accepting its first students in 1980 and was elevated to university status nine years later.
DCU’s core mission is to “unlock the talents” of its students. This is best exemplified in the university’s 2017 to 2022 Strategic Plan, entitled Talent, Discovery and Transformation, highlighting (1) engagement, (2) internationalisation, (3) research and innovation, (4) teaching and learning and (5) student experience. Among the notable alumni that are now successful in their careers are Google’s VP for Global Marketing Lorraine Twohill, multi-awarded film & TV director Dearbhla Walsh, IT engineer John Maughan, Nigerian-born politician Rotimi Adebari, and bestselling author John Connolly.

Google CMO Lorraine Twohill

Lorraine Twohill graduated with a joint honours degree in International Marketing and Languages at Dublin City University. After graduating in 1992, Twohill worked as a brand manager for Burns Philp, the now defunct Australian shipping line and merchant operator in the South Pacific. In 2000, she became the head of marketing at in London, and in 2001 she joined the European travel site Opodo.
In 2003, Twohill was hired as Google’s first marketer located outside the United States. She held various roles in the company, including running Google’s marketing efforts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She was eventually promoted as head of global marketing in 2009. As chief marketing officer, she moved to Google’s headquarters in California, U.S.A.  It is a position that she still holds today. Twohill has been named Adweek’s Grand Brand Genius in 2011 for inviting users to have their say and helping shape Google’s public image.

Irish film and TV director Dearbhla Walsh

Dearbhla Walsh is a multi-awarded film and television director who has worked on several drama series for television channels in Ireland and the United Kingdom, including episodes of EastEnders, Shameless and The Tudors. She won the 2009 Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or Dramatic Special for Part 1 of the serial Little Dorrit, which was based on Charles Dickens’ serial novel of the same title. Walsh has been nominated to the Irish Film and Television Awards four times and won two of those awards in 2011 and then in 2018. She was also the first female director of a Fargo episode.
Aside from episodes in EastEnders, Shameless and The Tudors, Dearbhla’s other directorial projects included the following:

  • The Big Bow Wow, for RTE, a national public service media in Ireland
  • Funland for BBC Three
  • Hide and Seek, a four-part RTÉ drama series
  • Match for the Dance on the Box, a short film for RTÉ and the Arts Council to promote the topic of dance
  • Talk to Me, a TV drama by BAFTA winner Danny Brocklehurst
  • The Silence, for BBC1
  • Penny Dreadful, directed two episodes of the horror TV series
  • Esio Trot, telemovie adapted from novelist Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name
  • Fargo’s third series, The House of Special Purpose and The Lord of No Mercy
  • The Punisher, Netflix’s Marvel series

IT engineer John Maughan

John Maughan holds a degree in Computer Applications from Dublin City University. Since graduating in 1989, he has accumulated three decades of experience as an IT professional starting out as a software developer at ICL Information Technology Centre for five years before moving on to SoftCo Ltd as VP of Product Development for seven years. SoftCo is a major provider of document and knowledge management solutions to companies.
The next stage in his career led him to Cape Clear Software as director of Engineering.  Maughan has been instrumental in establishing Cape Clear as a leading provider of service-oriented technology in a competitive and fast-paced integration market. He has assembled a highly-expert team of engineers and architects to deliver integration solutions for many of the world’s Fortune 1000 companies including JP Morgan, Vodafone and Sony. He then moved on to various senior management roles and is now connected with the S3 Connected Health Division of the S3 Group, which pioneered the use of technology to make healthcare more convenient, economical and effective.

Nigerian-born politician Rotimi Adebari

Rotimi Adebari completed his master’s degree in intercultural studies at Dublin City University. He fled Nigeria in 2000 and applied for asylum on the grounds of religious persecution. His application, however, was rejected because of insufficient evidence but he gained residency because his third child was born in Ireland.
He and his family settled in County Laois where he commenced social work and set up a firm called Optimum Point Consultancy. He ran for public office in 2004 and was elected town councilor in the local elections and three years later became mayor of Port Laoise, an important shopping, transport, events and conference hub. Adebari is Ireland’s first black mayor.

Novelist John Connolly

John Connolly completed his master’s in Journalism from Dublin City University. He worked as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times for five years before writing his first novel, Every Dead Thing, in his spare time. The story is about Charlie Parker, a former police officer hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. It won the 2000 Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel. It was also nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel.
Aside from the 17 best-selling Charlie Parker series, he also wrote the supernatural collection Nocturnes, the Samuel Johnson Trilogy for young readers (a fictional story about a young boy’s coming-of-age journey during World War II England) and co-authored the three Chronicles of the Invaders series with Jennifer Ridyard. He also wrote non-fiction books and edited anthologies.
Prolific novelist that he is, Connolly hasn’t totally abandoned his love for journalism. To this day, he still continues to contribute articles to The Irish Times, which includes interviews with other established authors.