The Veterinary Council of Ireland (VCI) has presented special awards for distinction to members of the 2022 graduating class from the University College Dublin (UCD) School of Veterinary Medicine.

170 students graduated from the school, including 132 newly qualified veterinary practitioners and 38 new veterinary nurses, at a recent conferring ceremony held at the university.

The ceremony was attended by members of the VCI including Veterinary Council president, Prof. Vivienne Duggan, who also serves as associate professor in equine clinical sudies at the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, and deputy president, Rachel Brown.

Veterinary Council awards

The Veterinary Council awarded veterinary medicine graduate Aoife Neavyn-Neita with the Freeman Memorial Medal, which recognises the graduate with the highest aggregate marks in animal husbandry, pathology, microbiology, parasitology and pharmacology examinations.

The council also recognised Lesley Ann Knox with the Veterinary Nursing Graduate of the Year Award, which is awarded to the leading student in the final year of the veterinary nursing course at UCD.

Prof. Duggan, said: “I would like to sincerely congratulate all of the graduates from the 2022 class. They should be incredibly proud to have achieved their degrees, particularly given the added pressure of studying under Covid-19 restrictions.

“I am truly impressed by the calibre of graduates that the School of Veterinary Medicine produces every year and I believe the future of the veterinary sector in Ireland is in great hands.”


The VCI is the statutory body responsible for the regulation and management of the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing.

The principal function of the council is to regulate the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary nursing in the Republic of Ireland, in the interest of animal health and welfare and in the interest of veterinary public health.

The functions of the council also include: Protection of the public through the supervision of veterinary education; the maintenance of the register of veterinary practitioners and nurses; the registration of veterinary premises; and through disciplinary action in cases of professional misconduct.