NUI Galway honours the achievements of six outstanding individuals with Honorary

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Pictured at the Honorary Conferring on Friday 29 June, 2007(L to R): Chief Justice Pius Langa; Enya; Bill Walsh; Niall FitzGerald, KBE; Dr Jane O Leary and Nicholas Carolan

Honorary Doctorates conferred on Bill Walsh, Jane O'Leary, Chief Justice Pius Langa, Nicholas Carolan, Niall Fitzgerald, KBE and Eithne Ní Bhraonáin (Enya)

Six outstanding individuals from the worlds of business, philanthropy, justice, music and the arts were conferred with honorary degrees from National University of Ireland, Galway on Friday 29 June, 2007.

The conferring marks remarkable achievements and distinctive contributions both nationally and internationally by individuals who have excelled in their fields. The ceremony follows last week's honorary conferring of world renowned folklorist Tom Munnelly.

Commenting, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said, "It is a great pleasure to welcome such a distinguished group of graduands to NUI Galway to bestow on them the highest honour that the university can confer. This year with the worlds of the arts, justice, business and philanthropy represented by graduands from South Africa, Ireland, Britain and the United States, I believe that we have a wonderfully eclectic, diverse and particularly talented group of honorees."

Bill Walsh (Degree of Doctor of Laws) is the Founder and Chairman of Sequoia Associates, a private investment firm, established in 1982. He is married and has six children. A quiet, steadfast philanthropist, Walsh is a long-time member of the American Ireland Fund and received its Distinguished Leadership Award in 1997. Walsh, his wife, and six children together endowed The William D. Walsh Family Library at Fordham University, and dedicated the Lumbard Classroom in Hauser Hall at Harvard Law School. In addition, Walsh established the Lumbard Fellowship to fund summer interns from Harvard Law School and Columbia and Fordham Law Schools to work in the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Jane O'Leary (Degree of Doctor of Music) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, Jane has been resident in Ireland since 1972. A founding member of Aosdána, Jane has composed over 70 works, which have been widely performed and broadcast. In 1976 Jane established the contemporary music ensemble Concorde to promote and perform new music on a regular basis. She lives in Galway where she is a founder and current chairperson of Music for Galway, founded in 1981. Jane has served on the Board of the National Concert Hall, the Arts Council, and the Cultural Relations Committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs. She was chair of the Contemporary Music Centre during a period of significant development for the centre. She has been Composer in Residence at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and currently teaches composition at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama.

Chief Justice Pius Langa (Degree of Doctor of Laws) is an inspirational jurist who is the first African Chief Justice of South Africa. He rose from humble beginnings as a worker in a shirt factory, to a court interpreter and messenger; subsequently a prosecutor and magistrate and a Judge of the Constitutional Court. Chief Justice Langa has always been involved in attempts to improve the quality of life of his fellow South Africans. He continues to assist civic organisations, townships residents association and youth and recreational groups. In an extremely competitive profession, his rise from humble beginnings in apartheid in South Africa to the Chief Justice of a free South Africa is truly remarkable and bears testimony to a courageous and indefatigable personality.

Nicholas Carolan (Degree of Doctor of Literature) has achieved a national feat in the last twenty years in the establishment of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. It holds and preserves there the largest multi-media collection in existence of Irish traditional music materials: over 28,000 sound recordings, 18,000 books and serials, 10,000 images, and a mass of other materials. It also holds the largest body of information about the music, organised on unique computer catalogues: over half a million content items in all. He is best known to the public for his long-running archival television series, Come West along the Road on RTÉ and Siar an Bóthar on TG4, and for his extensive public lecturing. He has also published a profusion of books and scholarly articles on the subject of Irish traditional music. This year 2007 will be the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Archive, an appropriate time to honour Nicholas Carolan s service to the nation.

Niall FitzGerald, KBE (Degree of Doctor of Laws) became the Chairman of Reuters in October 2004, having spent over thirty years with Unilever in a variety of commercial and financial jobs in several countries. During his Unilever career, he worked and lived in Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, the USA and the UK. Niall FitzGerald joined the Board of Reuters as a non-executive director in 2003 and became Chairman in 2004. Niall FitzGerald was awarded an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire in 2002, and holds a number of Honorary Doctorates from American, British and Irish universities.

Eithne Ní Bhraonáin-Enya (Degree of Doctor of Music) was born in Gaoth Dobhair and educated in Milford, County Donegal, Enya was born into a musical family. In 1980 she was asked to join the family group Clannad at the request of Nicky Ryan, Clannad's Manager at that time. After leaving Clannad in 1982 she commenced her musical collaboration with the producer and lyricist team of Nicky and Roma Ryan. Enya has become Ireland's best-selling solo artist in the history of the State and ranks alongside the most successful female artists in the world. She was the world s biggest selling female artist of 2001 and 2002. To date Enya has sold over seventy million albums worldwide.

The honorary conferring will take place in the presence of the Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr. Garret FitzGerald

ENDS

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