DCU honours NI peacebrokers
On the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, DCU has conferred honorary degrees on Seamus Mallon and David Trimble in recognition of their key contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process. Both men were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa) at a special ceremony in The Helix.
David Trimble and Seamus Mallon were appointed the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, respectively, of the newly-established Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998, following the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.
President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith said,
“DCU is delighted to pay tribute to Seamus Mallon and David Trimble in recognition of their contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process and their outstanding efforts on behalf of the people of Northern Ireland. 2013 marks the 15th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and it is fitting that, this year, we honour these two remarkable men whose commitment to democracy over conflict and to making a difference in society is an inspiration to us all.”
Chancellor of DCU, Dr Martin McAleese praised both men for their commitment to building a better future for all the people on the island of Ireland,
“The vocation of leadership in peace and culture change is demanding, draining and difficult as our two honorees today could no doubt testify. But we honour them because they honoured that vocation, committed to it and saw it through, come what may. David Trimble and Seamus Mallon share this platform because we owe them a debt of gratitude for all they did to transcend the perverse, paralysing politics of the past and breathe new life, fresh momentum into the future - your future.... They took risks, argued the toss vehemently, made concessions and compromises, made themselves vulnerable.”
The Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa) is the highest award that DCU can bestow in recognition of exceptional individuals who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, in their profession, in services to the community, to the arts, literature and culture, or in outstanding service to the University.