TRALEE became a university town for a day this week as the board of University College Cork crossed the county bounds to hold one of its regular scheduled meetings at Kerry County Council.
KCC gave way to UCC on Tuesday as the council handed over its chambers for the board meeting which was moved to Kerry as a gesture to mark the close ties between UCC and Kerry since the foundation of the university.
As well as dealing with the university's regular business the meeting also featured an address about those Cork Kerry links from UCC Emeritus Professor John A Murphy.
"UCC has always been the natural third-level mecca of Kerry students and even now, with the counter attractions of the University of Limerick and other institutes, the annual undergraduate intake to UCC from Kerry is the largest, next to Cork," said Professor Murphy.
The total number of Kerry students currently studying at UCC is just under 1,500.
He also made reference to the Kerry footballers and athletes who helped the Cork college to sporting success
"Over the decades, UCC successes in the Gaelic football inter-varsity Sigerson championship owe a great deal to Kerry students who gained valuable experience in the university's training fields. One thinks of stars like Paudie Sheehy and Jim Brosnan in the 1950s and, before he moved on to rugby, the great Moss Keane in the early 1970s," he said
"Of course, some Cork fans were none too pleased with the strong Kingdom element in UCC's line-out in the Cork County Championship, giving rise to the jibe of University College Kerry," Professor Murphy joked.
UCC alumni are found heading numerous Kerry organisations. These include outgoing County Manager Tom Curran, Denis Brosnan and Denis Cregan of Kerry Group, Michael Fitzgerald of Altobridge and Gavin O'Neill of Fexco.
In sport the college counts many Kerry greats among its alumni including, Paul Galvin, Seamus Moynihan, Eoin Brosnan, Fergal Griffin, Wayne O'Sullivan, Donnchadh Walsh, Peter Crowley, Dr Brendan Lynch, Paudie Lynch, and Dan Kavanagh.
Other sporting personalities include the late Moss Keane, journalist Billy Keane and the legendary sports writer, Con Houlihan.
Another North Kerry man who plays a major role in the life of the university is the current chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr Justice Bryan McMahon.