Dublin City University paid tribute to Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan, educationalist Prof John Coolahan and cultural activist Labhrás Ó Murchú by conferring them with Honorary Doctorates today (Tuesday, September 12th).
President of Dublin City University, Professor Brian MacCraith said:
“The contributions of each of our recipients have had an enormous impact on the lives of so many people throughout the world.
Each of today’s graduands is an embodiment of dedication, commitment, passion and hard work and each has added significantly to the educational, sporting and cultural landscape of Ireland.
Positive role models in today’s world are important and I know that today’s graduands serve as superb examples to our students to continuously challenge themselves, to strive for new opportunities and to make their mark in the world.”
Sonia O’Sullivan, a four-time Olympian and World, European and Irish athletics champion was honoured for her outstanding track and field achievements. During her career O’Sullivan competed at four Olympic Games, six World Cross Country Championships and five European Championships, medalling eleven times. She is also the holder of nine Irish national records. Since retiring, O’Sullivan has served as a mentor for many athletes and also served as Chef de Mission for Team Ireland at the London Olympics 2012.
Described as Ireland’s foremost educationalist, Professor John Coolahan has been instrumental in transforming the educational landscape in Ireland over the past four decades.
Coolahan taught at primary and post-primary level before moving to a career in teacher education and retiring as a Professor of Education in 2004 at Maynooth University.
He has been described as the “principal mover in every major piece of education legislation over the last four decades” serving on a succession of commissions and reviews and establishing various organisations, including the Teaching Council in 2001.
Recognised nationally and internationally as a social innovator and cultural activist, Labhrás Ó Murchú has served as the Ardstiúrthóir of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann since 1968.
Ó Murchú has dedicated his life to public service and to the promotion and growth of Irish music at home and across the globe. Under his stewardship, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann has become an international movement promoting traditional Irish music and culture in 400 branches across Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia.