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19 May 2024  

Annual Honorary Conferring Ceremony of National University of Ireland



The annual Honorary Conferring Ceremony of National University of Ireland will take place in the Corrigan Hall, Royal College of Physicians in Ireland on Monday 3 December at 4.30pm.
At the Ceremony, the Chancellor of the University, Dr Maurice Manning will confer honorary degrees on the following:
John Coolahan     Educationalist    
Jane Corboy         Co-founder of First Step Georgia
Alice Maher           Artist
John Travers        Business / Economics Consultant
Paul Muldoon       Poet
Biographical details:


John Coolahan         
Professor John Coolahan is Professor Emeritus of Education from National University of Ireland, Maynooth. He has lectured extensively in Ireland and abroad, is author of three books and has published over 120 articles in Irish and international journals. He was a founding member and President of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland and was editor of Irish Educational Studies.
Professor Coolahan has had numerous public service roles and has served on a range of ministerial committees and on the boards of educational and cultural bodies.
At international level, Professor Coolahan was leader or member of OECD Review Teams of Education in ten countries, on four continents; Vice-president of the EU Committee on Education  (1995-99); Consultant to the World Bank and the Council of Europe; member of the Review Body on Education in Northern Ireland (2001-02); and the co-founder and co-chairman of the standing conference on Teacher Education, North and South (2000-2008).


Jane Corboy
Co-founder of First Step Georgia, Jane Corboy worked as a marketing and PR executive for a number of companies, in 1990 she founded Corcoran Associates, a corporate communications and event management company.
In 1994, Jane went to live in Georgia with her husband Mr Denis Corboy, the first  EU Ambassador to Georgia and Armenia. In 1998 she co-founded the First Step Georgia with wife of the then Chairman of parliament and subsequent Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania. The charity has continued to grow and Jane has a solid board of trustees in Ireland and has put in place an international network of support including the charity’s patron, Mary Robinson.

Since 2003, the charity has worked very closely with St. Michael’s House, Dublin and is now the leading and most innovative provider of training and services for children with special needs in Georgia. The charity is now extending its reach by providing training services for children in other former Soviet countries and in Russia.
In 2008, the Community Foundation for Ireland honoured Jane with the award ‘International Philanthropist of the Year’.


Alice Maher
Alice Maher’s first major show, ‘familiar’ was presented at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in 1994 where her signature work Bee Dress was first seen. In the same year she represented Ireland at the Sao Paolo Biennale. She has had over 20 solo exhibitions since then and has exhibited in many countries worldwide, including France, the USA, Finland, Poland and Canada. A major drawing installation 'The Night Garden' was held at the RHA Gallery in Dublin in 2007. The following year her exhibition 'Hypnerotomachia' was presented at the David Nolan Gallery in New York. In 2009 she showed her first animated films in ‘The Music of Things’ with soundtrack by Trevor Knight, at the Green on Red Gallery in Dublin.
The Irish Museum of Modern Art this year presents a retrospective of her practice over a 25-year period. The exhibition includes many iconic works from the past but also a major new two screen digital film called ‘Cassandra’s Necklace’, commissioned by the museum and made in response to a script sent to the artist by writer Anne Enright.
Maher’s work can be seen in many international collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The British Museum, The Fogg Museum LA, The Museum of Fine Art Boston, The George Pompidou Centre Paris and most public collections in Ireland.


John Travers
John Travers has worked in the Irish public sector for more than 50 years: as a university demonstrator, teacher, town-planner, economic advisor and senior administrator. In the 1960’s he was part of the national planning process initiated by Government through Dr T.K. Whitaker and his colleagues. He was a member of the Government team, based in the Department of the Taoiseach that negotiated and wrote the Programme for National Recovery in 1987.
In 1993 he was appointed as the founding CEO of Forfas: the industrial and science policy advisory body to the Government. He was also the founding CEO (2000-2001) of Science Foundation Ireland. In 2004 he was appointed by Government as the Chairman of the interim Board of the National Tourism Development Authority with responsibility for the establishment of the Authority. He has acted as Director of the Global Finance Academy at UCD (2006-2009) and as Director-General of Science Foundation Ireland (2010-2011)


Paul Muldoon
Born in County Armagh in 1951, Paul Muldoon worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the BBC from 1973 to 1986. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University and Founding Chair of the Lewis Centre for the Arts. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. In 2007 he was appointed poetry editor of The New Yorker.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and American Academy of Arts and Sciences, his most recent awards are the 1994 T.S. Eliot prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the 2003 International Griffin Prize, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award and the 2004 Shakespeare Prize given for ‘contributions from English-speaking Europe to the European cultural heritage’.
Paul Muldoon’s most recent collections of poetry include Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), Horse Latitudes (2006) and Maggot (2010)



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