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University announces recipients of Winter Conferring Honorary Degrees

A master of his musical craft, Ireland’s Laureate na nÓg, an internationally’ recognised poet and the head of TG4 are among the recipients of Honorary Degrees at the University of Galway’s Winter Conferring ceremonies taking place this week and next.

The list also includes people who have made their mark in the worlds of civil rights, human rights, medicine, philanthropy and academia.

Among them are De Dannan founder Frankie Gavin, regarded as one of the world’s greatest fiddle players, who receives a Doctor of Music; Laureate na nÓg and Babaró founder Patricia Forde who will be made a Doctor of Arts; poet and Aosdána member Eva Bourke (Doctor of Literature), and TG4 Alan Esslemont (Doctor of Literature).

Also honoured are Traveller, human rights activist and author Mary Moriarty Ward (Doctor of Laws); SDLP founding member and long-time EU official Hugh Logue (Doctor of Laws), and Professor Peter Piot (Doctor of Medicine) who co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire while working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and led research on HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and women’s health, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

Miriam Hand and Lourda McHugh (Doctor of Laws) are recognised for their advocacy, leadership, and steadfast commitment to raising funds for breast cancer research through community partnerships and sporting organisations.

And the departing CEO of Croí Neil Johnson receives a Doctor of Laws for his dedicated service and vision with the heart and stroke charity, while retired Librarian of James Hardiman Library, Marie Reddan is a Doctor of Education.

President of University of Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said he was delighted to be in a position ‘to recognise this group of extraordinary individuals’.

“ Each one has made an excellent and distinctive contribution to public life, the betterment of society and the interests of humanity, leaving the world in a better place than we found it, which is the responsibility of us all,” he said.

“It is also great to be able to mark the achievements of our outstanding graduates and those being conferred with an honorary award for the first time under our new name and our new identity and celebrate everything that Ollscoil na Gaillimhe – University of Galway stands for, whether it’s through our values, our work for the public good and being in and of our place,” he added.

The celebrations began yesterday (Wednesday) and continue until next Wednesday, November 29, as the Honorary Degree awardees join more than 3,000 students graduating over the six days.

Pictured: Doctor of Arts…Laureate na nÓg and Babaró founder Patricia Forde.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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