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22 June 2024  

NUI Annual Honorary Conferring Ceremony


Tuesday, 2 December 2014 – Royal College of Physicians of Ireland

Photo Call at 4.00pm

The annual Honorary Conferring Ceremony of the National University of Ireland will take place in Corrigan Hall,
Royal College of Physicians of Ireland on Tuesday, 2 December at 4.30pm.

At the Ceremony, the Chancellor of the University, Dr Maurice Manning will confer the honorary degrees on the following:

Dr Mary Canning  Educationalist
Professor Michael Kenneally  Literary scholar in the field of Canadian Irish Studies
Patrick McGinley  Author
Anna May McHugh  MD of the National Ploughing Championships
Fr Peter McVerry  Founder of The Peter McVerry Trust

Biographical details:

Dr Mary Canning
Dr Mary Canning Dr Mary Canning holds an MA and PhD in Literature from University College, Dublin. Since 2007, she has served as a member of the Higher Education Authority. In 2009, she was appointed to the National Strategic Review of Higher Education in Ireland. From 2010 to 2012, she was a member of the Governing Authority of Maynooth University. In 2010, she was elected to the Royal Irish Academy. Following graduation, Dr. Canning taught at university level both in Ireland and the United States and was subsequently employed in management positions in FÁS. In 1990, she was seconded to the European Union and worked in an advisory capacity to the Hungarian Government from 1991-1992. She joined the World Bank staff in 1992 and was based in Washington until 1998, subsequently in Budapest and, from 2003- 2006, in Warsaw. In her role as Lead Education Specialist in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the Bank she focused principally on education and training policy in the Russian Federation and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Dr. Canning continues to write extensively on higher education systems in a wide range of countries in Europe, Asia and South America and has contributed to numerous World Bank and OECD publications.

Professor Michael Kennelly Professor Michael Kennelly
Born in Youghal, Co Cork, Professor Michael Kenneally moved to Canada to pursue his post-secondary education. He studied English first at the University of British Colombia, moved to McGill University Montreal for his MA and did his PhD at the University of Toronto. Teaching Irish Literature at Concordia since 1991, he was appointed as Inaugural Chair in Canadian Irish Studies in 2003 and Director of the Centre for Canadian Irish Studies. His publications include Portraying the Self: Sean O’Casey and the Art of Autobiography (1998). He has edited various collections such as Cultural Contexts and Literary Idioms in Contemporary Irish Literature (1988) and Poetry in Contemporary Irish Literature (1995), both of which were important in helping to establish contemporary Irish writing as a subject of critical analysis separate from the literary traditions and context of modernist figures such as Joyce, Yeats an Beckett. He has edited or co-edited other important essay collections including Irish Literature and Culture (1992), From ‘English Literature’ to ‘Literatures in English’: International Perspectives (2005) and Literatures in English: Priorities for Research (2008). He is Honorary Consul General for Ireland in Quebec.

Patrick McGinleyPatrick McGinley
Patrick McGinley was born to a farming and fishing family in bilingual Glencolumbkille in southwest Donegal in 1937. He completed his secondary education at St Enda's College Galway, and won a scholarship to UCG where he graduated in 1957 with a degree in Irish and English. He was a secondary-school teacher for four years (in Gweedore, Dublin and Mullingar) before moving in 1962 to London where he began a career in publishing, also spending time in Australia working in the industry. In 1981 he became managing editor of the academic and reference publishers, Europa Publications. McGinley's career as a fiction writer began in 1978 with the publication of his first novel, Bogmail, which saw him hailed as the natural successor to Flann O'Brien as a teller of blackly comic tales delivered in a highly self-aware Irish idiom. As the natural accompaniment last year to McGinley's latest novel, Cold Spring, Bogmail was reprinted in New Island's Modern Irish Classics series, and the BBC's 1991 adaptation of the novel was re-screened by TG4. His recent memoir, That Unearthly Valley, has been received critical acclaim. In writing That Unearthly Valley, McGinley says that he sought 'to make the landscape a living presence in the book'. In Bogmail, Cold Spring, and the seven novels in between, McGinley has shown himself to be one of our greatest observers in fiction of Irish geographical, historical, societal and narrative landscapes.

Anna May McHugh
Anna May McHughAnna May McHugh has been Managing Director of the National Ploughing Championships since 1973. She joined the National Ploughing Championships organisation in 1951, becoming its secretary in 1955 (women started to compete in the event in 1954). By 1955 the National Ploughing Championships had become a two- day event, sparked by the increasing number of competitions and the growing exhibition was gaining broader recognition every year. The National Ploughing Championships now takes place annually over three days on a large farm attracting on average 1,300 exhibitors and 187,000 visitors. Now the largest such event in the world, it is Ireland’s primary agricultural exhibition and one of the largest agricultural events in Europe, attracting visitors, exhibitors and delegations from right around Europe and further afield. A study carried by UCD in 2011 found that the event generates an economic impact of €36 million per annum. The NPA is still a voluntary association depending on voluntary efforts of our members from all around the country.

Fr Peter McVerry
Fr Peter McVerryFr. Peter McVerry SJ grew up in Newry, Co. Down and was educated at the Christian Brothers in Newry and at the Jesuit school at Clongowes Wood College. In 1962, he entered the Jesuit Order and was ordained in 1975. He worked as a priest in the Inner City in Dublin from 1975 to 1980 and there he encountered some homeless children, some as young as nine years of age. He opened a hostel for homeless children in 1979 and this subsequently became his lifetime work. He founded an organisation, now called The Peter McVerry Trust. He moved to Ballymun in 1980 and opened twelve more hostels, a residential drug detox centre for homeless people, two drug stabilisation programmes, a drug-free aftercare house and about one hundred and thirty apartments offering permanent tenancies to homeless people. He has written on many issues relating to young homeless people, such as accommodation, drugs, juvenile justice, the gardai, the prisons and education. He has produced a book of writings, called “The Meaning is in the Shadows” which recounts many of his experiences with young marginalised people. A second book, reflecting on the life of Jesus, is called “Jesus – Social Revolutionary?


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