Michael Flatley and Charlie Bird among those honoured by UCD


Honorary degrees are to be conferred today upon 19 well-known personalities from the worlds of politics, business, journalism, sport and the arts to mark the start of the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of University College Dublin.

Among those listed are charity campaigner Ms Christina Noble, former footballer Kevin Moran, entertainer Michael Flatley and RTÉ journalist Charlie Bird.

Citing their "exceptional contribution to Irish society and their impact on the world stage", UCD said the list aimed to reflect the university's ethos.

This placed a strong value not just on academic achievement, it said.

Also included are businessman and philanthropist Mr Lochlainn Quinn, former European Commissioner Mr David Byrne, journalist Niall O'Dowd and former US congressman Mr Bruce Morrison. In the sporting world, Mr Moran is joined by the former Kerry footballer Mick O'Dwyer, former Dublin footballer Kevin Heffernan and retired Irish rugby international Willie John McBride.

The "academic and learning excellence" category includes Father John Dardis, provincial of the Jesuit order.

Those being recognised for their contribution to the arts include Mr Flatley, as well as sculptor Imogen Stuart, chairwoman of the Abbey Theatre Ms Eithne Healy, and artist Anne Madden.

The conferring ceremony will take place in the O'Reilly Hall on UCD's Belfield campus at 11 a.m. today.