Eight Honorary Fellows welcomed to the College at St Luke’s Symposium

Eight Honorary Fellows admitted to the College at St Luke's Symposium

This year's St Luke's Fellowship Admission ceremony took place on Saturday 21 October and saw eight Honorary Fellows admitted to the College.

Honorary Fellowship is the highest honour bestowed by RCPI. The award is reserved for world leaders in medical science and those who have made an exceptional contribution to society.

RCPI President, Professor Mary Horgan, paid tribute to the new Honorary Fellows and said this honour is in recognition of their contribution to medicine, care of the homeless, music, history, literature, fashion and sport. 


“Medicine and the humanities can work together in a holistic way to improve the health of the nation and our newest Honorary Fellows exemplify this. Ireland not only has a rich tradition in culture, the arts, music, and sport but also historically has made an enormous contribution to medicine. As a nation we are world leaders in these fields and our college is delighted to recognise this with our highest honour.”

Professor Mary Horgan

President, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

The members and fellows of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland work with people in a variety of settings, including the homeless. President Horgan said it was important to recognise that need to care for the health of those who are without homes at this time. Professor Horgan said,

“Homeless women have a life expectancy of 38 while for men its 42 as those who find themselves without somewhere to call their own age prematurely. Health plays a defining role in the homeless crisis in Ireland. It is not all about housing. Ill health, addiction and social exclusion are major factors in the homeless crisis. We are honouring Alice Leahy for her long dedication to caring for the homeless with this Honorary Fellowship.”

Alice Leahy, Director of Services of the Alice Leahy Trust said: “I was surprised, humbled and deeply honoured to receive this Fellowship. My work would not be possible without the support of people from all sections of the community including so many dedicated members of the medical profession. This award recognises my wonderful colleagues, our directors, supporters and most importantly the people who use our service and inspire and challenge us in equal measure”.

We are delighted to announce our incoming Honorary Fellows, who are:

Eamonn Coghlan - Former Irish Senator and Three-time Olympian and former world champion in the 5,000 metres.

Prof Roy Foster - Robert Fitzroy 'Roy' Foster, FBA, FRHistS, FRSL, publishing as R. F. Foster, is a revisionist Irish historian and academic. He is the Carroll Professor of Irish History at Hertford College, Oxford in the UK.

Louise Kennedy – A much beloved Irish fashion designer who, in 2013, was called the 'uncrowned queen of Irish fashion'.

Prof Bernard Kinane – Internationally renowned Paediatric Pulmonologist and Research Scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, USA, considered an international expert on the genetic basis of, classification and treatment of interstitial lung disease.

Alice Leahy - Co-Founder and Director of Services of the Alice Leahy Trust, a non-judgemental, befriending, social and health service for people who are homeless.

John O’Connor - An Irish pianist and former director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, recognised as one of the world’s premier Beethoven interpreters.

Colm Tóibín - The internationally acclaimed Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet.

Dr Catherine Yelland – President of the Royal Australian College of Physicians, Dr Catherine Yelland is a geriatrician and general physician in practice at Redcliffe Hospital, just north of Brisbane.

Our congratulations to all of those admitted.


Yvonne McCahill

Press Officer, Communications Department

Tel: +353 1 8639 627 | Mobile 086 7723056

For general press enquiries or if you want to speak to a trusted medical expert, contact Yvonne in our Communications Department.