NUI Galway Conferring Ceremonies

Monday, 22 October 2007

NUI Galway will confer three Honorary MA Degrees this week on Eric Elwood, for his contribution to Connacht Rugby; Tom Tuohy, for his voluntary contribution as coach to NUI Galway Boat Club; Tomás Ó Tuathail, for his contribution to Irish language promotion and community work in Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo; and an Honorary MSc Degree on Alasdar Mac Cana, for his contribution of over 20 years in the practical training of scientists in the Department of Physics and in the Education Department of NUI Galway.

The honorary ceremonies will take place Monday 22, Tuesday 23 and Thursday 25 October, 2007, in conjunction with the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which will see the graduation of over 4,000 students.

Eric Elwood will be recognised for his contribution to rugby in Connacht. A dedicated servant to the Galwegians club in Galway, he first represented his province Connacht in 1989 against Ulster. He went on to represent Connacht a record 177 times and played his last match for Connacht in April 2005. He entered the international scene in 1993 and went on to win 35 caps for Ireland scoring 296 points and he played his last test against Romania in October 1999.

Tom Tuohy, a native of Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, will be honoured in recognition of his contribution to the sport of rowing in NUI Galway over a period of more than 30 years.

"Tom Tuohy has for more than 20 years been the driving force behind the story of Rowing at NUI Galway. His enormous contribution to the club has been based on a love of the sport and a deeply-felt connection to and pride in his alma mater. All of these efforts have been on an entirely voluntary basis. Tom has been and remains an unpaid coach and mentor at a time when selfless volunteerism in Irish society is a very rare thing indeed", commented fellow rowing clubman Ruadhán Cooke.

Alasdar Mac Cana will be honoured for his contribution of over 20 years in the practical training of scientists in the Department of Physics and in the Education Department of NUI Galway. Originally from Armagh, his work in NUI Galway came after a lifetime of teaching in the UK, when he "retired" with his wife, Magdalen Conlon from Spiddal, to live in Connemara.

Professor Tom Glynn, Department of Physics, NUI Galway, said: "we are honouring a man (now in his hundredth year) who has done truly wonderful patient work, over an extended lifetime, in educating generations of young scientists on both sides of the Irish Sea. At the same time, he has filled his life with extensive travel, experience, and adventure and left a lasting impression on all who meet him as a remarkable human being and a dedicated teacher".

Tomás Ó Tuathail will be honoured for his contribution to community life and to the promotion of the Irish language in his native Tourmakeady, Co. Mayo.

Professor Nollaig Mac Congáil, Scoil na Gaeilge, NUI Galway says: "Tomás Ó Tuathail, a native of Tourmakeady and one who farmed and kept a business there all his life, realised that the area was in serious decline economically and socially. He spent his life actively trying to regenerate the community in every way possible in tandem with others locally whom he inspired and energised. Societies were formed to address all aspects of sheep farming and rural development as well as social, cultural and educational matters in what once was a heartland of Irish language and heritage. Until his recent retirement Tomás was central to all these activities and, it is hoped, his leadership and example over the years will be replicated by others in the future".

The annual autumn conferring ceremonies began at NUI Galway last Friday and Saturday, 19 and 20 October, when the Adult Education ceremony was held and where awards were conferred on 703 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country.

ENDS

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