Polish government honours Irish academic

Political scientist Jacqueline Hayden’s contribution to transition to democracy recognised

Trinity College political scientist Jacqueline Hayden has been honoured by the Polish government for her work in helping the country to free itself from the communism in the 1980s.

Prof Hayden first visited Poland in 1980 as a freelance journalist, when she met leading members of the Polish dissident movement and Solidarity activists including Lech Walesa, and has been a frequent visitor to the country since then.

She reported for the Irish Press newspaper on the Gdansk shipyard strike, which set in motion the events which put Poland on the road to democracy.

Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski has awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland to Ms Hayden for “outstanding services rendered to the promotion of Poland’s transition to democracy, for acting as a truthful witness to the situation on the ground during the period of martial law and for accomplishments in journalistic undertakings”.


The order will be awarded to Ms Hayden at a ceremony in the presidential palace in Warsaw on June 4th, the anniversary of the free parliamentary elections in Poland in 1989.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a columnist with and former political editor of The Irish Times