NUI Galway’s Michael D. Higgins is Ninth President of Ireland

Saturday, 29 October 2011

For more information on Michael D and NUI Galway click here

Michael D. Higgins, Adjunct Professor with the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, has been elected the ninth president ofIreland.

Michael D. has been associated with NUI Galway for almost 50 years, entering the University as a mature student in 1962; serving as President of the Student Council; and going on to become a highly regarded lecturer in Sociology & Politics for many years.

He has served as Adjunct Professor at the University’s Irish Centre for Human Rights since 2006. His impressive record in defense of human rights made his role with the Irish Centre of Human Rights a natural enhancement of his long association with the University. 

Speaking after the election results were announced, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said of Michael D.: “The Office of President has been increasingly to the fore in national life in recent years. Michael D.’s talent and integrity, along with his commitment to service in public life, will ensure that he will be an inspirational and visionary President, following those who have held that office with great distinction and honour.

On behalf of the University, I congratulate him on the unique leadership role which he has played to date in shapingIreland's future. I wish him every success and fulfilment in writing the next chapter ofIreland’s history.”

Amongst his many distinctions, Michael D. Higgins was honoured in 2003 by his alma mater with the NUI Galway AIB Award for Literature, Communication and the Arts.  He graduated with a BA in 1965 and a BComm in 1966 from what was then UCG.

Michael D. was most recently on campus during an impromptu visit on the eve of the election, when staff and student well-wishers turned out to lend their support.

NUI Galway takes pride in the success of its alumni, many of whom have distinguished themselves as leaders in various fields of endeavour inIrelandand abroad.

The current administration boasts a number of former University students including: An Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore; Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte; Attorney General, Máire Whelan; Minister for Research & Innovation, Seán Sherlock; and numerous deputies and senators.

 -ends-


Is é Michael D. Higgins ó OÉ Gaillimh an Naoú Uachtarán ar Éirinn

Táthar tar éis Michael D. Higgins, Ollamh Cúnta san Ionad Éireannach um Chearta an Duine in OÉ Gaillimh, a thoghadh ina naoú uachtarán ar Éirinn.   

Tá baint ag Michael D. le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh le beagnach 50 bliain, ó tháinig sé chun na hOllscoile mar mhac léinn lánfhásta i 1962; bhí sé ina Uachtarán ar Chomhairle na Mac Léinn; agus ina dhiaidh sin bhí sé ina léachtóir le Socheolaíocht agus Polaitíocht ar feadh na mblianta.  

Tá sé ina Ollamh Cúnta san Ionad Éireannach um Chearta an Duine, OÉ Gaillimh, ó 2006.  

Chaith sé na blianta ag cosaint chearta an duine agus rinne an ról a bhí aige san Ionad Éireannach um Chearta an Duine an ceangal a bhí aige le fada leis an Ollscoil a neartú.    

Ag labhairt dó nuair a fógraíodh torthaí an toghcháin, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne faoi Michael D.: “Ta ról níos larnaí ag an Uachtaránacht i saol na hÉireann le blianta beaga anuas.Cinnteoidh na buanna ar leith atá ag Michael D., a ionracas agus a dhílseacht don saol poiblí, gur sár-Uachtarán a bheidh ann agus go mbeidh fís aige, díreach mar a bhí ag na daoine a tháinig roimhe.

Thar ceann na hOllscoile, ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leis as an obair cheannaireachta ar leith atá déanta aige go dtí seo le cruth níos fearr a chur ar Éirinn san am atá le teacht. Guím gach rath air agus é ag tabhairt faoin gcéad chaibidil eile a chur le stair na hÉireann.”

Is iomaí gradam a bronnadh air agus orthu sin bhí Gradam AIB OÉ Gaillimh don Litríocht, an Chumarsáid agus na hEalaíona a bhronn a alma mater air sa bhliain 2003.   Bhain sé céim BA amach i 1965 agus BComm i 1966 ó COG, mar a thugtaí uirthi an uair sin.

Bhí Michael D. ar an gcampas go deireanach an oíche roimh an toghchán nuair a thug sé turas gan choinne orainn. Tháinig idir fhoireann agus mhic léinn amach lena dtacaíocht a léiriú dó.

Tá OÉ Gaillimh an-bhródúil as na héachtaí atá déanta ag alumni na hOllscoile. Tá go leor acu ina gceannairí i réimsí éagsúla den saol in Éirinn agus thar lear.  

Tá cúpla iar-mhac léinn de chuid na hOllscoile sa rialtas faoi láthair:  An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny; An tAire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála, Eamon Gilmore; An tAire Cumarsáide, Fuinnimh agus Acmhainní Nádúrtha,PatRabbitte; An tArd-Aighne, Máire Whelan; An tAire Taighde & Nuálaíochta, Seán Sherlock; agus Teachtaí Dála agus Seanadóirí go leor.

-críoch-

Author: Press and Information Office, NUI Galway
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