Sep 24 2018 Posted: 10:55 IST
NUI Galway Announce 2018 Honorary Degrees Recipients
Catherine Corless, Sharon Shannon, Helen Rochford Brennan, Brendan Dunford
 
 NUI Galway today announced the names of those to be conferred with Honorary Degrees at the 2018 Autumn Conferring. The four individuals to be conferred during the week of 15 October are: 
  • Catherine Corless, local historian, campaigner on behalf of survivors and deceased of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home
  • Sharon Shannon, internationally-recognised traditional Irish musician
  • Helen Rochford Brennan, activist for rights of people with dementia
  • Brendan Dunford, biodiversity campaigner and founder of BurrenBeo Trust.
Speaking on the announcement, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution in their field.  In honouring these exceptional individuals, we signal what we value in areas that matter to us and to our society - local history, disability rights, music and environmental sustainability. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.  Each of those we honour also have a special bond with our region - drawing on the unique experiences, strengths and challenges with which we as a University also engage – history, environment, social policy and creative arts. On behalf of NUI Galway I am delighted to honour them and their achievements in this way.”
 
Catherine Corless is a local historian known for her research into the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway and advocacy work on behalf of the survivors and the children who lost their lives.  She has been awarded the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Award in recognition of ‘exceptional humanitarian service’, and a Rehab Group People of the Year Award in 2018.
 
Sharon Shannon is a renowned traditional Irish musician from Co. Clare based in Galway who has influenced a generation of musicians.  With over 10 multi-award winning albums she has received many awards including Hot Press and Meteor Awards, and was the youngest ever recipient of the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award.
 
Helen Rochford Brennan has been at the forefront of developing new ideas and human rights strategies for people with dementia in Ireland and Europe since her diagnosis with dementia in 2012.  Currently Chair of the EWGPWD in Alzheimer Europe she has an international track record as activist for people with dementia.
 
Brendan Dunford has been instrumental in re-invigorating biodiversity within the Burren through his initiative around Burren LIFE and the Burren programme.  He has applied science to a societal problem of biodiversity and heritage loss, working with communities to produce more sustainable food systems.  He was an instigator of The Burrenbeo Trust – a landscape charity dedicated to connecting all of us to our places and highlighting our role in caring for them.
 
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Céimithe Oinigh 2018 Fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh

Catherine Corless, Sharon Shannon, Helen Rochford Brennan, Brendan Dunford

Inniu d’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh ainmneacha na ndaoine a mbronnfar Céimeanna Oinigh orthu ag Bronnadh an Fhómhair, 2018. Seo a leanas ainmneacha an cheathrair a mbronnfar céim orthu an tseachtain dar tús an 15 Deireadh Fómhair: 

-          Catherine Corless, staraí áitiúil, feachtasóir ar son na ndaoine a bhásaigh in Áras Máithreacha agus Naíonán Thuama agus ar son iad siúd a tháinig slán as

-          Sharon Shannon, ceoltóir traidisiúnta Éireannach a bhfuil cáil dhomhanda uirthi

-          Helen Rochford Brennan, gníomhaí do chearta daoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh

-          Brendan Dunford, feachtasóir bithéagsúlachta agus bunaitheoir Iontaobhas BurrenBeo.


Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aige in imeacht na mblianta agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad céimithe oinigh na bliana seo. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh ina réimse féin.  Trí chéim oinigh a bhronnadh ar na daoine iontacha seo, táimid ag tabhairt aitheantais do na nithe a bhfuil meas againn orthu i réimsí atá tábhachtach dúinn féin agus dár sochaí - stair áitiúil, cearta míchumais, ceol agus inbhuanaitheacht comhshaoil. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.”  Tá ceangal ar leith ag gach duine a bhfuilimid ag bronnadh céim oinigh orthu lenár réigiún – agus cleachtadh acu ar an taithí, na láidreachtaí agus na dúshláin uathúla a bhaineann linne mar Ollscoil chomh maith - stair, comhshaol, polasaí sóisialta agus na healaíona cruthaitheacha. Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh tá áthas orm ceiliúradh a dhéanamh orthu agus ar a gcuid éachtaí.”

Is staraí áitiúil í Catherine Corless agus tá cáil uirthi mar gheall ar an taighde a rinne sí ar Áras Máithreacha agus Naíonán Thuama, Co. na Gaillimhe agus mar gheall ar an obair abhcóideachta a rinne sí ar son na ndaoine a tháinig slán as agus ar son na leanaí a bhásaigh ann.  Mar aitheantas ar a ‘sársheirbhís dhaonnúil’ bronnadh Gradam Chearta an Duine de chuid Chomhairle Bharra na hÉireann uirthi agus bronnadh Gradam Rehab do Phearsa na Bliana uirthi sa bhliain 2018.

Is ceoltóir traidisiúnta Éireannach cáiliúil í Sharon Shannon as Co. an Chláir atá ag cur fúithi i nGaillimh agus chuaigh sí i gcion ar ghlúin ceoltóirí.  Tá gradaim amach bainte amach ag 10 n-albam dá cuid agus is iomaí duais atá buaite aici lena n-áirítear Gradaim Hot Press agus Gradam Meteor, agus bhí sí ar an duine ab óige riamh ar bronnadh Gradam Saoil Meteor uirthi.

Helen Rochford Brennan ar thús cadhnaíochta maidir le smaointe nua agus straitéisí chearta an duine a fhorbairt do dhaoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh in Éirinn agus san Eoraip ón uair a dúradh léi go raibh néaltrú ag gabháil di féin in 2012.  Faoi láthair tá sí ina Cathaoirleach ar EWGPWD in Alzheimer Europe agus tá a cion déanta aici ar leibhéal idirnáisiúnta mar ghníomhaí do dhaoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh.

Bhí Brendan Dunford lárnach i mborradh in athuair a chur faoi bhithéagsúlacht i mBoirinn trína thionscnamh Burren LIFE agus trí chlár Bhoirne.  Bhain sé úsáid as eolaíocht chun dul i ngleic le fadhb shochaíoch bhithéagsúlachta agus caillteanas oidhreachta, agus é i mbun oibre le pobail chun córais bhia níos inbhuanaithe a tháirgeadh.  Bhí sé ar dhuine den dream a chur tús le hIontaobhas Burrenbeo - carthanas tírdhreacha dírithe ar muid ar fad a cheangal lenár n-áiteanna agus aird a tharraingt ar an ról atá againn maidir le haire a thabhairt do na háiteanna sin.

-críoch-

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