NUI Galway to honour eight outstanding individuals with honorary degrees

Friday, 23 June 2006

-Honorary Doctorates to be conferred on International Golfers Christy O'Connor Sr and Jr; Irish Entrepreneurs Senator Feargal Quinn, Dr. Ronan Lambe and Hugh Green; Irish Philosopher John Moriarty; Contemporary Irish Artist James Coleman and Distinguished Italian Algebraist Professor Francesco de Giovanni-

NUI Galway today (Friday) recognised the achievements of eight outstanding individuals who have excelled in their chosen fields. Those chosen to receive the honour include individuals from the worlds of business, sport, art, philosophy and mathematics.

Following on from the recent launch at NUI Galway of the JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, the University has reflected its commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and nurturing Ireland's future business leaders by honouring individuals who have excelled in the field of business including Senator Feargal Quinn, Hugh Green and Dr. Ronan Lambe. Honorary degrees will also be conferred on renowned golfers Christy O'Connor Senior and Junior; Irish Philosopher John Moriarty; Irish Artist James Coleman and distinguished Algebraist Professor Francesco de Giovanni.

Commenting on the honorary conferrings, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh President of NUI Galway said, "It is a great honour for NUI Galway to recognise the exceptional achievements of each of these individuals. This is a significant year in Ireland to honour the achievements of our golfers as we play host to the Ryder Cup. Equally, we have brought together a number of individuals from the worlds of business, philosophy and the arts who have each touched society in their own way both in Ireland and across the globe."

The Honorary Conferring Ceremony took place in the presence of the Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr. Garret FitzGerald.

Note to Editors:

Christy O'Connor, Sr and Christy O'Connor, Jr are natives of Galway and two of Ireland's most well-known professional golfers. The uncle and nephew team have both represented Ireland on the Ryder Cup team and are among Ireland's most distinguished golfers. Christy Sr won the first £1,000 prize in European golf, then the world's biggest prize. He also won the Canada Cup (World Cup) with Harry Bradshaw, was a regular high finisher in the British Open and played on the Ryder Cup team ten times between 1955 and 1973. Christy Jr claimed the British Open twice and in a famous Ryder Cup moment, hit a three iron to the eighteenth at The Belfry in 1989 beating Fred Couples and leading Europe to a memorable Ryder Cup victory.

John Moriarty, a native of Co. Kerry has gained a reputation as a distinguished Irish philosopher and writer. Having spent time lecturing in Canada in the 1960s, he returned to Ireland to pursue a life of reflection and the exploration of a fundamental agenda of philosophical and cultural issues. He has published a wide body of work to critical acclaim; his 2001 autobiographical work Nostos explores many of his previously articulated ideas interrogating and re-contextualising the Western philosophical and cultural paradigm.

Senator Feargal Quinn has been a well-known name on the Irish business landscape for many years. Best known as President of the supermarket chain, Superquinn, which he founded in 1960, he has made many other contributions to Irish life including serving as chairman of An Post for a decade and chairing a steering committee on reform of the Irish education system. He was appointed as an independent member of Seanad Éireann in 1993 and received a Papal knighthood in 1994. Senator Quinn has recently been appointed Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway's Department of Marketing.

Hugh Green, a native Donegal man who emigrated to Australia in the 1950s is now a leading figure in the Irish community in New Zealand and has been an active philanthropist in New Zealand for many years. Under his leadership, the Hugh Green Group has become one of the most professionally managed and commercially successful businesses in New Zealand today.

Dr. Ronan Lambe, originally a scientist at the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology, Dr. Lambe achieved success when he co-founded ICON with Dr. John Climax in 1990. ICON provides pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries with clinical research and biometric services and was floated on the NASDAQ in 1998. It now boasts twenty-seven offices in sixteen countries with over 2,200 employees worldwide.

James Coleman is among the most distinguished Irish visual artists currently practising, although he is better known abroad than in Ireland. A native of Ballaghderreen in County Roscommon, he has emerged in recent years as one of the most important artists of visual postmodernism. His work has transformed critical debates about the status of image in contemporary culture and influenced an entire generation of younger artists. He has been made a member of Aosdána and three of his paintings have recently been purchased by the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Professor Francesco de Giovannian internationally acclaimed algebraist with an outstanding research record. He ranks among the youngest ever professors appointed by the Universitá Federico II di Napoli. He is supervisor and director at one of the most prestigious graduate schools in Italy and through his efforts and cooperation, mutually beneficial exchange links were forged between Universitá Federico II di Napoli and NUI Galway.

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