NUI Galway announces Awards for Outstanding Graduates

Thursday, 20 February 2003

Press release: 3 February, 2003

NUI Galway announces Awards for Outstanding Graduates

The NUI Galway Alumni Awards will be presented at the Fourth Annual Gala Banquet in the Radisson SAS Hotel, on Saturday, 1 March, 2003. Funds raised at the banquet will support the University's Access Programme, which has been developed to provide educational opportunities for those whose socio-economic backgrounds have prevented them from participating in third-level education. Awards will be presented in five categories to graduates who have made a distinctive contribution in their chosen careers. Through the awards programme, the University recognises individual excellence among the more than 43,000 graduates worldwide.

  • Hewlett-Packard Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts
    Sean McGinley, Actor
    McGinley has an impressive list of credits in film, theatre and television. His portrayal of Charlo in the four part television series Family brought him both critical and popular acclaim. His film credits include John Boorman s The General, Neil Jordan s The Butcher Boy and Michael Collins; Jim Sheridan s The Field and Mel Gibson s Oscar winning Braveheart. His theatre performances have won him Best Actor Award for Whistle In The Dark, and The Shaughran. McGinely currently plays Fergal Collins in the RTÉ original drama On Home Ground.

  • ntl: Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics
    John McGowan, Vice President Technology and Manufacturing Group, and Director, Corporate Services of Intel Ireland
    An Engineering graduate of 1970, McGowan has occupied senior management positions in Intel for many years. He is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland, and a member of the Institute of Directors. The Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland honoured him with the Engineer of the Year Award in 2000. Intel has a major wafer fabrication facility in Leixlip, designated Ireland Fab Operations (IFO).

  • Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce
    Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Owner, Managing Director of Aer Arann Express.
    Ó Céidigh first worked as an accountant and later taught for several years in Coláiste Iognáid, Galway. He studied law and started his own legal practice in Galway City. In 1994, he purchased Aer Arann with Eugene O'Kelly when it was merely a passenger service, operating up to 25 flights per day between Connemara Regional Airport and the Aran Islands. Under their ownership, Aer Arann, now called Aer Aran Express, has expanded to become the fastest growing regional airline in Europe. Pádraig was recently named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2002 in Ireland.

  • Medtronic AVE Award for Health Care and Medical Science
    Professor Maurice Manning, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Medical College of Ohio.
    A Science graduate of 1957, Dr. Manning has been doing peptide hormone research since 1961 and has worked with two Nobel Prizewinners at Cornell University Medical College and at Rockefeller University. His lab supplies scientists with molecules that are used in the investigation of various subjects, including hypertension, cancer, kidney disease, memory and childbirth. He holds 12 patents and his lab designed the original molecules that contributed to the development of a new drug — currently undergoing clinical trials — to prevent premature birth. There also is a peptide named after him, the Manning Compound, which blocks the actions of vasopressin (the hormone that affects blood pressure and body fluids) on the receptors in blood vessels.

  • NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government:
    HE Sean O'hUiginn, Ambassador - Embassy of Ireland, Berlin
    After graduating from NUI Galway in 1967 with an MA degree, Sean O'hUiginn entered the Department of Foreign Affairs as a Third Secretary and moved through the ranks of the Department in various positions both in Ireland and abroad. While serving in the Anglo-Irish Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs, O'hUiginn was deeply instrumental in fostering the Irish peace process and the all-party negotiations in Northern Ireland that eventually resulted in the triumph of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. As ambassador to the United States (1997-2002), he continued to be closely involved in the implementation of the agreement.

Ends

Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI Galway. Tel. 091-750418; Mobile: 087-2986592

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