Queen’s University Belfast Alumni

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Queen’s University Belfast Alumni

Notable Alumni

Many Queen’s graduates are household names – not just in Northern Ireland but around the world – and we are very proud of them!
To find out more about the contribution of Queen’s alumni to all walks of life, just click on the links below or go to Wikipedia.


  • Tan Sri Anuwar Ali – 2nd Vice-Chancellor of Open University Malaysia
  • Sir David Bates – physicist
  • Sir Colin Campbell – former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham
  • Art Cosgrove – former President of University College Dublin
  • Roy Crawford -Vice-Chancellor of University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • Tan Sri Chin Fung Kee – former Vice-Chancellor of University of Malaya and Professor of Civil Engineering
  • Matthew McDiarmid (1914–1996) – literature professor and campaigning academic; editor of the canonical Scottish Text Society editions of the poets Robert Fergusson and Blind Hary
  • Gerry McKenna – former Vice-Chancellor and President of University of Ulster[1]
  • David Beers Quinn – author and historian
  • Tan Sri Rafiah Salim – Vice-Chancellor of University of Malaya; former Assistant Secretary General for the United Nations Human Resource Management
  • Lam Wei Haur – Professor in Ocean Engineering, Tianjin University.

Arts and media

Poet and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney
  • Andrew Beatty – journalist and editor
  • Wesley Burrowes – playwright and screenwriter
  • Simon Callow – actor and writer
  • Nauheed Cyrusi – Bollywood actress
  • Kasia Glowicka – composer
  • Edwin Lawrence Godkin – American publicist
  • Kieran Goss – singer/songwriter
  • Alan Green – BBC Radio 5 Live football commentator
  • Seamus Heaney – Nobel Prize-winning poet
  • Patrick Hicks – poet
  • Patrick Kielty – television presenter
  • Phil Kieran – club DJ
  • Annie Mac – radio DJ
  • Tony McAuley – broadcaster and musician
  • Eamonn McCann – journalist and civil rights activist
  • Ty McCormick – award-winning American foreign correspondent
  • Paul Muldoon – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
  • Liam Neeson – actor
  • Stephen Rea – actor
  • Rigsy – radio and club DJ; television presenter
  • Nick Ross – broadcaster
  • Zöe Salmon – television presenter
  • Mark Simpson – BBC Ireland correspondent
  • Henry Vega – composer
  • Helen Waddell – poet, translator and playwright
  • Alexander Walker – journalist, author and film critic

Legal, military and civil service

  • Hulusi Akar – 29th Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces
  • Air Commodore David Case – British Armed Forces’ most senior black officer
  • Colonel Tim Collins – former Colonel in the British Army, known for his inspirational speech during the Iraq War in 2003
  • Sir Ronnie Flanagan – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary; former Chief Constable of Police Service of Northern Ireland and Royal Ulster Constabulary
  • Sir Robert Hart, 1st Baronet – Inspector General of the Chinese Imperial Maritime Customs
  • Sean Hoy – Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria
  • Brian Hutton, Baron Hutton – former British Law Lord and Chair of the Hutton Inquiry
  • Brian Kerr, Baron Kerr of Tonaghmore – former Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland; Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; the youngest and the only Justice who is not graduated from Oxbridge
  • Joseph Henry Longford – British consul in Japan and academic
  • John MacDermott, Baron MacDermott – Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland
  • Edward Macnaghten, Baron Macnaghten – former British Law Lord and politician
  • Eoin MacNeill – Founder of the Gaelic League
  • Monica McWilliams – Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition; former Professor of Women’s Studies and Social Policy at the University of Ulster
  • Sir Andrew Porter, 1st Baronet – former Master of the Rolls and Attorney General for Ireland
  • Sir James Russell – Chief Justice of Hong Kong
  • Sir Barry Shaw – first Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland
  • Paul Tweed – media lawyer
  • Air Vice Marshal Sir William Tyrrell – Irish Rugby international; member of first official British Isles Rugby team in 1910, decorated military officer; surgeon to King George VI of the United Kingdom
  • Sir Hiram Shaw Wilkinson – Chief Justice of the British Supreme Court for China and Corea


British diplomat Sir Robert Hart
  • John Alderdice, Baron Alderdice – former Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland; former Presiding Officer of the Northern Ireland Assembly; consultant psychotherapist
  • Jim Allister – leader of Northern Ireland’s Traditional Unionist Voice party
  • Clare Bailey – Green Party MLA for Belfast South
  • Dominic Bradley – Social Democratic and Labour Party MLA for Newry and Armagh
  • Diane Dodds – Democratic Unionist Party MLA for West Belfast
  • Nigel Dodds – Barrister and Democratic Unionist Party MP for North Belfast
  • Mark Durkan – Social Democratic and Labour Party MP for Foyle; former Leader of the SDLP
  • Reg Empey – former Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
  • Toiréasa Ferris – Sinn Féin politician; first female Mayor of Kerry; first Sinn Féin Chairperson of Kerry County Council
  • Arlene Foster – Democratic Unionist Party MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone; Minister for the Environment
  • Simon Hamilton – Democratic Unionist Party MLA for Strangford
  • Tun Lim Keng Yaik – former Energy Minister of Malaysia
  • Brian Mawhinney – former MP and Chairman of the Conservative Party (UK)
  • Mary McAleese – former President of Ireland
  • Nelson McCausland – Democratic Unionist Party MLA for North Belfast
  • Brian McConnell, Baron McConnell – former Ulster Unionist MP
  • Adam McGibbon – Green Party campaign manager and activist
  • Michelle McIlveen – Democratic Unionist Party MLA for Strangford
  • Sheelagh Murnaghan – former Ulster Liberal Party MP
  • Gearóid Ó Cuinneagáin – Irish fascist and leader of Ailtirí na hAiséirghe
  • Ian Paisley Jnr – North Antrim MLA for Democratic Unionist Party
  • Janil Puthucheary – Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information Singapore, PAP MP for Punggol Coast
  • Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib – former Speaker of the Malaysian Parliament
  • Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah – former Minister of Finance of Malaysia
  • John P Savage – Premier of Nova Scotia
  • David Trimble – former First Minister of Northern Ireland and Nobel Peace Prize winner
  • Peter Weir – Democratic Unionist Party MLA for North Down
  • Jim Wells – Democratic Unionist Party MLA for South Down
  • Sammy Wilson – Democratic Unionist Party MP for East Antrim


  • Anthony Farquhar – Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor; Assistant Chaplain of the University 1970-1975
  • Cahal Daly – Archbishop Emeritus of The Archdiocese of Armagh – former lecturer; Reader in Scholastic Philosophy, 1946-1967
  • Rev James McEvoy – emeritus chair of scholastic philosophy (died 2010)
  • Donal McKeown – Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor
  • Morris S. Seale – theologian
  • Patrick Walsh – Bishop Emeritus of Down and Connor; Catholic Chaplain of the University 1963-1970


Physicist H. Douglas Keith
  • John Bodkin Adams – physician and suspected serial killer
  • John S. Bell – physicist and developer of Bell’s Theorem, regarded by some in the quantum physics community as one of the most important theorems of the 20th century
  • John Edward Campbell – mathematician, academic and co-developer of the Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff formula
  • Thomas Henry Flewett – Virologist who suggested the name Rotavirus to the virus which is most common cause of diarrhoeal disease.
  • Henrik Kacser – biochemist and geneticist
  • H Douglas Keith – polymer research scientist
  • Terence Ingold – mycologist and botanist
  • Mollie McGeown – physician, nephrologist and health service pioneer[2]
  • Frank Pantridge – inventor of the portable defibrillator
  • Leslie Skene – psychiatrist[3]
  • George P. L. Walker – geologist and vulcanologist


  • David Cullen – 2007 winner of the Arthur Ashe for Courage Award at the 2007 ESPY Awards ceremony
  • Thomas MacDonald (1908–1998) – cricketer
  • Martin O’Neill – former footballer and former Leicester City, Celtic and Aston Villa manager who studied law at Queen’s before being scouted by Nottingham Forest
  • Trevor Ringland – former Ireland and British Lions rugby player, 2007 winner of the Arthur Ashe for Courage Award at the 2007 ESPY Awards ceremony
  • Air Vice Marshal Sir William Tyrrell – Irish Rugby international, member of first official British Isles Rugby team in 1910, decorated military officer, and surgeon to King George VI of the United Kingdom


  • Kafeel Ahmed – suspected terrorist in the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack
  • Eamon Collins – former Provisional IRA member who later wrote a tell all book about life in the IRA
  • Michael McGoldrick – murder victim during The Troubles
  • Laurence McKeown – former Provisional IRA member who took part in the 1981 Irish hunger strike