UCD awards its top honour to Tom Murphy

Doctors of Literature conferred on Conor McPherson, Sinead Cusack among others

Tom Murphy with his Ulysses Medal, awarded by UCD

Tom Murphy with his Ulysses Medal, awarded by UCD


Novelist, theatre director, playwright and screenwriter Tom Murphy has been awarded the UCD Ulysses Medal, the highest honour the university can bestow, in recognition of his work and to mark Bloomsday.

In a ceremony at University College Dublin on Saturday, honorary awards of Doctor of Literature were also conferred on Conor McPherson, Patrick Mason, Sineád Cusack and Bob Crowley.

The university said Bloomsday was synonymous with James Joyce and the novel Ulysses. UCD is the alma mater of the world-renowned author.

Mr Murphy follows Nobel prizewinner Seamus Heaney, Irish playwright Brian Friel and former US president Bill Clinton as a recipient of the Ulysses medal.

Conor McPherson was educated at UCD, and began writing his first plays there as a member of UCD Dramsoc, the college’s drama society. He founded Fly by Night theatre company and his plays have been performed at London’s West End and on New York’s Broadway.

Patrick Mason is a theatre producer and director notably associated with the Abbey Theatre. He won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award as director of Dancing at Lughnasa on Broadway.

Sinéad Cusack is an Irish theatre, television and film actor. She is a member of a theatrical family, the daughter of Mary Margaret “Maureen” Kiely and Cyril Cusack. She has been nominated for at least two Tony Awards.

Bob Crowley is a theatre designer and director from Cork. He has won numerous Tony Awards and designed productions for the National Theatre including Ghetto, The Madness of George III, Carousel and The History Boys. He has also designed numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company.