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23 July 2024  

NUI Honours Dr Garret FitzGerald


Dr Michael Murphy President UCC Dr Garret FitzGerald Dr James Browne President NUIGalwayAt a special dinner held on 2 April 2009 to mark the completion of his term as Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, the NUI Senate paid tribute to Dr Garret FitzGerald. The dinner was held in Farmleigh House by permission of the Taoiseach.

The hosts were Dr Michael Murphy, Vice-Chancellor and President of UCC with new NUI Chancellor, Dr Maurice Manning.  Speaking on the occasion, Dr Michael Murphy remarked that Dr FitzGerald ‘has made an immense contribution to Irish society – a challenger of dogma, an upholder of decency when silence tempted, a leader when needed….

When our University called upon him, at a time of turbulence and uncertainty following the 1997 Universities Act, he selflessly immersed himself to protect what he saw as a national treasure. The path has not been easy but he leaves the helm of an NUI that has reached a broad understanding of its continuing value in Irish Higher Education …’

Dr Michael Murphy President UCCThe Vice-Chancellor said that he, like his colleague Presidents, had enjoyed and benefited from Dr Fitzgerald’s ‘grand fatherly’ interest in the well-being of each of our institutions, the occasional phone call, or visit, to enquire about progress, to test a notion, to diffuse a “family” skirmish, to commiserate on disappointment – and occasionally to chastise (gently) aberrant behaviour – the admirable light touch of the caring, concerned “pater familias”. It has been a strategy, fit for the era, fit for the circumstances, that has kept the family together – and we gather tonight to say a heartfelt thank you.’

He concluded ‘Ar son muintir na hOllscoile, anseo i mBláth Cliath, i Má Nuad, sa Ghaillimh agus i gCorcaigh, míle buíochas duit agus go raibh fada buan do shaothar’.  The newly elected Chancellor, Dr Maurice Manning who earlier in the day had chaired his first Senate meeting said that he was greatly honoured to follow in Dr Fitzgerald’s footsteps and would continue to value his advice.


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