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AGM, Parochial Hall, Church of St John the Evangelist, Malone Road, Belfast, 12 May 2015
Professor Brian Walker presented the President's address on behalf of William Devlin, who had died in office. Welcoming Monica, William's widow, and his daughter Catherine, to whom he extended the Association's deepest sympathies, he said -
Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to report on behalf of our late president that the association has had a good year. The first highlight was a very successful trip to Aras an Uachtarain in Dublin. This was organized by our association but we were pleased to welcome members of other associations on this occasion. The visit took place on 2 June 2014 when we were shown round the Aras and given a history of the building by an aide to the president. The president was not in residence at the time.
The second highlight was our annual dinner on 7 Nov. 2014 at Malone Golf Club House when we were addressed by Dr Gillian Martin, Senior Lecturer at Trinity with responsibility for admissions. A total of 74 persons, including guests from other associations, enjoyed this very convivial evening.
During the year the president was invited to a number of events on behalf of the association. On 20th June he and Monica attended the Golden Jubilee dinner of the Derry and Antrim Association. In December due to his illness he was unable to attend the annual dinner of the Queen's Alumni Association, but he was represented by Dr Cecil Bates at this occasion in the Great Hall at Queen's.
The president was involved in a number of initiatives on our behalf. In February he took a lead role in the organizing of a meeting of alumni association officers at Trinity. This meeting was held in the alumni office at Trinity and involved members of other associations. Aoife Keogh from the alumni office has been very helpful. Several other such meetings have been held at Trinity. One outcome is that the suggestion from Dr Cecil Bates that Trinity should provide visiting and welcoming facilities for graduates is now being seriously looked at.
One other very important initiative that our late president was concerned about was the question of the very low number of Northern Ireland students at Trinity at present, due to entrance requirements which unfairly operate against their admission. He has made various strong representations on our behalf about this problem, to both the provost and Dr Martin. We are glad to report there is now important movement on this issue, which the Provost will talk about later.
Finally, I am sure that William would have thanked all the officers and members of our committee who have played a leading role in keeping our association on the road.
The Chain of office being handed over to Professor Walker by William's widow Monica.
A full report will appear later.