Posted: 00:00 IST
Four outstanding individuals were conferred with honorary degrees from NUI Galway today, Friday 25 June, 2010. Those honoured were Bernard Collins, Anne Maria Dennison, John Killeen and Seán Ó hUiginn.
Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said: "NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals. In different ways, they represent and exemplify the talents and achievements of modern Ireland in the fields of business, engineering, international relations and social and cultural development. We are delighted to honour them individually as well as the groups they represent".
Bernard Collins – Doctor of Laws
Bernard Collins is a seasoned businessman with 30 years international management experience. Mr Collins is an investor, chairman and non-executive director of several medical device companies, six of whom are based in Galway. One of the highlights of his career was bringing Boston Scientific Corporation to Ireland and establishing Lifemed, to promote growth and partnership in lifescience companies.
He is a non-executive director of IDA Ireland, Creganna, Irish Life & Permanent and Arc Royal and a board member of IDA Ireland. He also holds the position of chairman of Vhi Healthcare, Heartsine Inc USA, Haptica, AnsaMed, Proxy Biomedical, Aerogen Ireland Ltd / Aerosurge Ireland Ltd, Vysera, Vivasure Medical and Creagh Medical.
He is Chairman of Cancer Care West, the largest cancer patient support centre in Ireland which in 2007 opened Inis Aoibhinn, a residence for patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment at University Hospital Galway.
Anne Maria Dennison – Doctor of Arts
Anne Maria Dennison is National President of the Irish Countrywomen s Association (ICA) which celebrates its centenary in 2010. A native of Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, she joined the ICA in 1989 and over the past 21 years she has held leadership roles at every level of the ICA, the largest women's organisation in Ireland,.
Anne Maria has represented ICA, on Limerick County Community and Voluntary Forum and has been Honorary Secretary of its Executive Committee. She has been a member of Limerick County Council Cultural Action Group, with responsibility for organising a programme of events in Limerick County during Seachtain na Gaeilge. She participated in the National Economic Social Forum on Child Literacy and Social Inclusion Project and is currently a member of the Teagasc Education and Training Forum.
John Killeen – Doctor of Laws
Born in Roscommon, John Killeen, began his career with structural engineering firm, Stanislaus Kenny & Partners in Dublin where he worked as assistant project manager on Ireland's first large scale tunnel project, the Grand Canal Scheme. Mr Killeen is CEO of the Colas Group (Cold Chon) and Chairman of the Galway Docklands Redevelopment Committee.
Mr Killeen is a fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers in London, the Insitute of Engineers of Ireland (now Engineers Ireland) and the Academy of Engineers of Ireland. He is former President of the Institute of Engineers in Ireland and former Chairman of Engineers Ireland, West Region. In 1997 he was Founding President of the Academy of Engineering in Ireland.
As Chairman of 'Let s Do It Galway' he led the effort that brought the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway. In May this year he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Galway for his work in promoting the development of Galways docklands for bringing successive international festivals to Galway as part of the last and next Volvo Ocean Race.
Seán Ó hUiginn – Doctor of Laws
NUI Galway graduate and Mayo native, Seán Ó hUiginn, has held a succession of key roles in the Department of Foreign Affairs including Secretary to the Irish Embassy in Berne, Deputy Head of the Irish Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Consul General of Ireland in New York, Irish Ambassador to Saudia Arabia, Joint Secretary of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast, Ambassador to Denmark and headed the Anglo-Irish Division of the Department as Second Secretary.
Mr Ó hUiginn was appointed Irish Ambassador to the United States in 1997 and served as Irish Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 2002 to 2006 and from then to retirement in 2009 as Irish Ambassador to Italy. He holds honorary doctorates from several American universities and was appointed Grand Officer of the order Della Stella della Solidarita Italiana by the Italian Government.
Today's graduands join the ranks of previous honorary conferees which include among many others Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Sean Purcell, the late Merv Griffin, Anjelica Huston and Fionnuala Flanagan.