UCD Science Alumni Award Winner 2015

Integrity: It’s in our DNA
The empathy, dedication and conviction of our graduates make us what we are. Their passion to change the world changes us.

Fr Peter McVerry, a beacon of hope for many, was rightfully the UCD Alumni Award in Science in 2015 for dedicating his life to fighting poverty and homelessness.

He is known for his lifelong dedication to the troubled youth of inner-city Dublin. After graduating from UCD with a Science degree in 1969, he has campaigned tirelessly on issues of justice, poverty and homelessness.

In 1974, he opened a small hostel for young boys and founded the Arrupe Society, which soon began to grow. The Arrupe Society, which evolved into the Fr Peter McVerry Trust, has progressed from a three-bedroom flat in Ballymun to 11 homeless hostels, over 100 apartments, a residential drug detox centre and two drug stabilisation services. He has worked tirelessly for over 40 years, advocating for the poor and encouraging greater spending at government level.

As a social activist Peter is a strong advocate for those who have no voice in society.  He has written widely on issues relating to young homeless people such as accommodation, drugs, juvenile justice, the Gardaí, prisons and education.

Based at Peter McVerry Trust’s Open Access Centre in Upper Sherrard Street, Peter’s ongoing work with and campaigning on behalf of troubled young people has made him one of the most prophetic voices in Ireland today.

Prof. Joe Carthy and Fr Peter McVerry
Prof. Andrew J Deeks, Fr Peter McVerry and Prof. Joe Carthy