NUI Galway sweeps the boards at the National Society BICS Awards

NUI Galway’s societies were the big winners at this year’s Board of Irish College Societies (BICS ) Awards, taking home seven awards. BICS is a national organisation that was founded in 1995 and whose role is to provide a national forum for the societies in Ireland’s universities, colleges, and institutes of education.

The 25th Annual Board of Irish College Societies Awards ceremony was broadcast live from the Sheraton Hotel in Athlone recently.

NUI Galway excelled in seven categories including:

Best Individual (Large College ): Hannah Aris, auditor of Energy Society, and vice auditor of WiSTEM Society.

Best Fresher (Large College ): Anna Lee Dowling, incoming auditor of the Law Society.

Best Event (Large College ): ‘SOC Stream’, an online society collaboration that comprised a 12 hour and a 48-hour live stream, raising €2,000 for charity.

Best Publicity Campaign: Galway University Musical Society (GUMS ).

Best New Society (Large College ): Society for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (WiSTEM ).

Best Poster: Galway University Musical Society (GUMS ) and the Drama Society (Dramsoc ).

Best Promotional Video: Fantasy and Science Fiction Society (FanSci ).

Over the 2020-21 academic year, NUI Galway had 96 actively running societies representing more than 10,000 students and holding 2,243 events online.

Riona Hughes, NUI Galway societies officer, said: “Despite the unprecedented challenges faced by all of us due to the pandemic, with the hard work and dedication from all of our members we still managed to function as an organisation. Student societies are a path to a greater experience of higher education, to build friendships which will last far beyond your college years and gaining skills which are just as valuable as any you will learn in a lecture hall.”

Acknowledging the contribution societies made to the student experience during lockdown, Riona Hughes added: “Our societies continued to do what they do best, create supportive communities of like-minded people and to entertain and educate each other while finding ways to remain human and connected in very challenging circumstances. Their creativity and generosity was outstanding.”

Year on year, the Board of Irish College Societies continues to grow and now has 18 colleges and 742 societies, with more than 50,000 students represented across Ireland. The board acts as an information resource and support mechanism for society administrators, promoting the sharing of ideas and the implementation of best practice.

For more information on NUI Galway Societies visit


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