Belfast Telegraph

Communications boss Kevin Mulhern was 'an incredible mentor'

Obituary: Kevin Mulhern

Sorely missed: Kevin Mulhern
Sorely missed: Kevin Mulhern
Alf McCreary

By Alf McCreary

Kevin Mulhern, a former head of communications and external affairs at Queen's University, Belfast, died suddenly this week at his home in Crossgar. He was 52.

Mr Mulhern's third-level education was at Queen's, where he was awarded a BSc (Hons) in political science, and later a masters degree in Irish political studies.

He also had a masters degree in marketing, and a diploma in journalism studies from Ulster University.

Mr Mulhern held the Queen's post for 12 years, from 2004 to 2016. Before that, he was communications officer with Bryson House, then communications manager in the Department of Health. He later moved to the Executive Information Service.

Keith Baker, an author and journalist, worked closely with Mr Mulhern in the Queen's communication department, writing speeches and helping with other projects.

He said: "Kevin was a great operator with a great brain, who was always a step ahead.

"He would have made a terrific newspaper editor.

"He liked journalists, he could spot a good story and he knew which journalists would do it justice.

"He built up a reputation of trust with the local media.

"He was lured from Queen's by Grahams, the local construction company, before moving to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

"Kevin was a consummate professional who threw his heart and soul into everything he did.

"He was great fun to be around and he will be a great loss to everyone who knew him, especially to his wife, Ciara, and the family."

Speaking on behalf of his former colleagues and friends, Lisa McElroy, a close associate of Mr Mulhern at Queen's communications department, said: "He was committed to excellence in communications, and he led his team to many awards, including a national CIPR excellence award, the ultimate UK public relations accolade.

"Well-known and respected across the university and beyond, Kevin's passion for seeing people succeed went far beyond his own team.

"He will be remembered as someone who was incredibly loyal, who brought humour to the workplace, and as an incredible mentor.

"His wit, sense of fun and strategic advice will be sorely missed."

Mr Mulhern is survived by his wife, Ciara, his children, Caitlin and Fionn, his parents, Arthur and Bridget, brothers Sean and Paul, sister Jacinta, and by his wider family and friends.

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