An Taoiseach Congratulates Alumni at NUI Galway Gala

Monday, 5 March 2012

At the NUI Galway Alumni Awards and Gala Banquet 2012 were (back row, l-r): Professor Fergal O'Gara, Aramark Alumni Award for Science; Máire Whelan, Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law; Gerry Kilcommins, Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics; Marie Mullen, AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; and ; Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Duais Hewlett Packard don Gaeilge. 

Front row, l-r: An Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Professor Tim O'Brien, Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne.
At the NUI Galway Alumni Awards and Gala Banquet 2012 were (back row, l-r): Professor Fergal O'Gara, Aramark Alumni Award for Science; Máire Whelan, Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law; Gerry Kilcommins, Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics; Marie Mullen, AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; and ; Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Duais Hewlett Packard don Gaeilge. Front row, l-r: An Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Professor Tim O'Brien, Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne.

A celebration of the achievements of NUI Galway’s alumni took place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus Saturday night with special guest An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD. Over 450 people gathered for the 12th Annual Gala Banquet, a glamorous occasion hosted by RTÉ’s Deputy Director of TV Programmes, Mairéad Ní Nuadháin.

Among the guests were alumni, staff, students and friends of the University. The feature of the night was the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards to:

  • Máire Whelan, Attorney General of Ireland, who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law
  • Gerry Kilcommins, VP Global Vascular Operations & General Manager Medtronic Galway and past President American Chamber of Commerce, Ireland who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics
  • Professor Fergal O'Gara, Chair of Microbiology UCC who received the Aramark Alumni Award for Science
  • Marie Mullen - actress, Druid Theatre Company co-founder who received the AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies
  • Professor Tim O'Brien, Director, Gait Laboratory & Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Central Remedial Clinic who received the Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway who received the Duais Hewlett Packard don Gaeilge

Special guest on the night An Taoiseach and former NUI Galway student, Enda Kenny TD, said: “The people we honour here this evening have made remarkable and diverse contributions to Irish life, which rightly deserve to be. In honouring those six distinguished graduates this evening, we highlight not only their achievements, we also take the opportunity to recognise the contribution, and indeed the calibre, of Irish graduates generally.

“Since its establishment well over a century and half ago, NUI Galway has always aimed to be one of Ireland’s foremost centres of academic excellence. Since spending time as a student on this campus in the 1970s, I have seen NUI Galway, and indeed the surrounding city, grow and develop continually. In particular the transformation that has taken place over the last decade has been remarkable. The campus now offers the best of facilities for teaching and research and a wealth of modern amenities for students.”

An Taoiseach added: “In diverse ways our Alumni Award winners have helped to shape Irish society and culture, broken new boundaries of knowledge and forged new industries and enterprises. In the arts and culture, in business, governance and industry, and in the sciences - they are the social leaders, who continue to build our future. They serve as an inspiration to the next generation of emerging students - and they too will bring their talents and ingenuity to Irish society and enterprise in new and creative ways. I congratulate tonight's honourees and all involved in this event.”

Entertainment for the Gala was provided by internationally renowned Donegal singer Moya Brennan, formerly of Clannad fame. Moya performed with her daughter Aisling before she embarks on a US tour, and delighted the audience with a mixture of old Clannad favourites and new compositions from her latest live album Heartstrings.

Addressing the assembled guests, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “The people we honour tonight have made a difference. They have distinguished themselves as individuals and in doing so they add lustre to the reputation of NUI Galway.”

The Annual Alumni Awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide.

 ENDS

 

Déanann an Taoiseach comhghairdeas le Alumni ag Mórfhéasta OÉ Gaillimh

Dé Luain, 5 Márta 2012: Bhí ceiliúradh ar éachtaí alumni OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl i Halla Bailey Allen ar an gcampas oíche Dé Sathairn agus bhí an Taoiseach Enda Kenny mar aoi speisialta ag an ócáid. Bhí os cionn 450 duine bailithe don 12ú Mórfhéasta Bliantúil, ócáid ghalánta agus Mairéad Ní Nuadháin, Leas-Stiúrthóir na gClár Teilifíse in RTÉ, mar bhean an tí.

I láthair ag an ócáid bhí alumni, comhaltaí foirne, mic léinn agus cairde na hOllscoile. Ba é bronnadh Dhuaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni ar na daoine seo a leanas buaicphointe na hoíche:

  • Maire Whelan, Ard-Aighne na hÉireann, ar bronnadh Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó, an Beartas Poiblí agus an Dlí uirthi
  • Gerry Kilcommins, Leas-Uachtarán Global Vascular Operations & Bainisteoir Ginearálta Medtronic na Gaillimhe agus iar-Uachtarán ar Chumann Tráchtála Mheiriceá in Éirinn ar bronnadh Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Innealtóireacht agus don Ionformaitic air
  • An tOllamh Fergal O’Gara, Ollúnacht le Micribhitheolaíocht, UCC ar bronnadh Duais Alumni Aramark don Eolaíocht air
  • Marie Mullen – aisteoir, comhbhunaitheoir Chomplacht Amharclannaíochta an Druid ar bronnadh Duais AIB do na Dána, na hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léann Ceilteach uirthi
  • An tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Stiúrthóir, Saotharlann Choisíochta & Máinlia Comhairleach Ortaipéidice, an Clinic Lárnach Íocshláinteach ar bronnadh Duais Medtronic don Leigheas, an tAltranas agus na hEolaíochtaí Sláinte air
  • Peadar Mac An Iomaire, Iar-Phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ar bronnadh Duais Hewlett Packard don Ghaeilge air

Dúirt aoi speisialta na hoíche, an Taoiseach agus iarmhac léinn OÉ Gaillimh, Enda Kenny: “Tá éachtaí suntasacha agus éagsúla i saol na hÉireann déanta ag na daoine a bhfuil duaiseanna á mbronnadh orthu anseo anocht, agus tá na duaiseanna seo tuillte go maith acu. Agus muid ag tabhairt aitheantais don seisear céimithe den scoth seo anocht, tarraingímid aird, ní hamháin ar a gcuid éachtaí, ach aithnímid chomh maith an obair, agus leibhéal ard na hoibre go deimhin, a bhíonn ar siúl ag céimithe Éireannacha go ginearálta.

“Ó bunaíodh OÉ Gaillimh go maith os cionn 150 bliain ó shin, tá sé mar aidhm ag an Ollscoil a bheith ar cheann de phríomhionaid feabhais acadúil na hÉireann. Ón uair a chaith mé féin seal anseo mar mhac léinn sna 1970í, tá fás agus forbairt feicthe agam ag teacht ar OÉ Gaillimh, agus go deimhin ar an gcathair máguaird. Is cinnte gur díol suntais é go háirithe an t-athrú atá tarlaithe le deich mbliana anuas. Tá na háiseanna is fearr ar fáil ar an gcampas ó thaobh an teagaisc agus an taighde de agus tá réimse iontach áiseanna nua-aimseartha ar fáil do mhic léinn.”

Dúirt an Taoiseach chomh maith: “Ar bhealaí éagsúla chabhraigh buaiteoirí na nGradam Alumni linn cruth a chur ar shochaí agus ar chultúr na hÉireann, bhris siad teorainneacha an eolais agus chruthaigh siad tionscail agus fiontair nua. Sna healaíona agus sa chultúr, sa ghnó, sa rialachas agus sa tionscal, agus sna heolaíochtaí – is ceannairí sóisialta iad, atá ag cur de shíor lenár dtodhchaí. Is cúis inspioráide iad don chéad ghlúin eile de mhic léinn – agus úsáidfidh siadsan chomh maith a gcuid buanna agus a stuaim ar mhaithe le sochaí agus le fiontar na hÉireann ar bhealaí nua agus cruthaitheacha. Déanaim comhghairdeas le buaiteoirí na hoíche anocht agus le gach duine a bhí páirteach san ócáid seo.”

Is í an t-amhránaí as Dún na nGall a bhfuil cáil dhomhanda uirthi, Moya Brennan, a chuir ceol ar fáil don Mhórfhéasta. Bhíodh Moya mar bhall den ghrúpa Clannad. Chas Moya in éineacht lena hiníon Aisling, sular imigh sí ar a camchuairt go Meiriceá, agus chas sí meascán de na hamhráin a bhíodh aici le Clannad agus amhráin nua óna halbam beo Heartstrings.

Agus é ag labhairt leis an slua a bhí i láthair dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá difríocht déanta ag na daoine seo atá ag fáil duaiseanna anocht. Tá éachtaí déanta acu agus cuireann siad go mór le cáil OÉ Gaillimh.”

Deis iad na Duaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar luach fadsaoil an oideachais a chuirtear ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh mar aon le haitheantas a thabhairt d’éachtaí cuid den 80,000 céimí de chuid na hOllscoile seo atá anois lonnaithe fud fad na cruinne.

CRÍOCH

Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway
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