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28 May 2024  

NUI Honorary Conferring Ceremony


An NUI Honorary Conferring Ceremony will take place in the Corrigan Hall, Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Kildare Street, Dublin 2, on Friday 6 May at 5.00pm. At the Ceremony, the Chancellor of the University, Dr Maurice Manning will confer the honorary degrees on the following:

Mary Finan PR and Communications Specialist
Professor James McGuire Author and Historian
Baroness Onora O’Neill of Bengarve, Philosopher

These degrees were to have been conferred in December 2010: the ceremony was postponed because of snow.

Biographical details:

Mary Finan

A native of Roscommon, Mary Finan was educated at University College, Dublin, where she obtained a BA degree. Mary Finan She later completed a marketing management course at the Harvard Business School. She was one of the founding partners of Wilson Hartnell Public Relations (WHPR), now part of Ogilvy and WPP, the world’s leading communications group.  She was Managing Director of WHPR until 2003 and was subsequently appointed Chairman until 2007.  She specialised in marketing and corporate and financial communications and on leaving WHPR, joined a number of boards in the financial services sector, including Canada Life (Ireland), the ICS Building Society and 4D Global Energy Investments Plc. A firm advocate of public service, she was active in this area throughout her career.  In 1996 she was elected the first woman President of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce.  Latterly, she was appointed Chairman of the RTE Authority where she completed her term in December 2008.  She is currently Chair of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), and a director of Cheshire Ireland and the Buildings of Ireland Charitable Trust. Mary has been an active supporter of the arts in Ireland extending back to her days as a member of Dramsoc in UCD.  Her interests span music, opera and theatre and she is currently on the boards of Opera Ireland and the Gate Theatre.

Professor James McGuire
Professor James McGuireJames Ivan McGuire MRIA is joint editor with James Quinn of the Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography (9 vols and online, Cambridge University Press, 2009). Born in Dublin in 1943, he was educated at Glenstal Abbey, UCD and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He graduated BA and MA (NUI). He taught Irish history at UCC (1972–4) and at UCD (1974–2008) and was appointed adjunct professor in the UCD School of History and Archives in December 2009. Joint editor of Irish Historical Studies (1987–92), he was president of the Irish Historical Society (1994–5) and president of the Irish Legal History Society (2005–8). Overseas Visiting Scholar at St John's College, Cambridge (1997), he was elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007. Since 2003 he has served as chairman of the Irish Manuscripts Commission. In 2009 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Irish Legal History Society. His publications are listed in James Kelly et al. (ed.), People, politics and power. Essays on Irish history 1660–1850 (Dublin, 2009)


Professor Onora O’Neill CBE  FBA  Hon FRS  F Med Sci
(The Baroness O’Neill of Bengarve)

Professor Onora O'NeillOnora O’Neill comes from Northern Ireland and was educated at Oxford and Harvard, where she worked under the late John Rawls.  She has taught  in the US and the UK, was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge until 2006 and teaches Philosophy in Cambridge.  She was President of the British Academy, the UK National Academy for Humanities and Social Sciences  from 2005-9, and chaired the Nuffield Foundation  from 1998-2010.  She has been a member of the House of Lords since 1999, and is an independent, non-party peer. She has served on Select Committees on Stem Cell Research, BBC Charter Review,  Genomic Medicine,   Nanotechnology and Food and Behavioural Change. She writes on ethics and political philosophy, with particular interests in  international justice, the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and   bioethics.  Her books include Faces of Hunger: An Essay on Poverty, Development and Justice (1986), Constructions of Reason: Explorations of Kant's Practical Philosophy (1989), Towards Justice and Virtue (1996) and Bounds of Justice (2000), Autonomy and Trust in Bioethics (2002)A Question of Trust (the 2002 Reith Lectures) and Rethinking Informed Consent in Bioethics (jointly with Neil Manson, 2007).  She is currently writing on practical judgement and normativity, trust and accountability in public life; and the ethics of communication.  .