Graduation ceremonies for almost 200 medical students in Galway have been brought forward, so the class of 2020 is able to enter the healthcare workforce.

NUI Galway said exams and graduation events for 190 medicine students were fast-tracked in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the restrictions imposed on public gatherings, the students took part in an online graduation ceremony this morning.

It is the first time in the 175-year history of the institution that physical conferring ceremonies have not taken place.

Restrictions mean that other graduations will also take place online later this week.

Today's event was streamed to students and their families on the university's Facebook page.

One such student was Orla Costigan, who celebrated with her family in Blackrock in Dublin.

NUI Galway President Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said the medical class of 2020 was graduating at an extraordinary time.

He said all concerned were deeply disappointed that they could not share the special day with graduates in person.

There are plans to hold a more informal event in the autumn, should circumstances allow.