Acclaimed Galway novelist to receive NUIG Alumni Award

Novelist Gerard Donovan.

Novelist Gerard Donovan.

The Booker Prize nominated Galway author Gerard Donovan is among those set to receive the NUI, Galway Alumni Award at a gala banquet in March.

NUIG has announced the eight winners of the 2010 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 10th annual awards ceremony on Saturday March 6 in the newly opened Bailey Allen Wing on campus. The awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the university’s 70,000 graduates worldwide.

The AIB Award for arts, social sciences, and Celtic studies will go to Mr Donovan. Mr Donovan grew up in Galway, and attended the Jes before graduating from NUIG with a BA in German and philosophy and a master’s in German.

He then went to the US and taught English at Suffolk County Community College and Southampton University. His first novel, Schopenhauer’s Telescope (2003 ), was long listed for the Booker Prize and won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. His other novels include Doctor Salt (2005 ) and Julius Winsome (Faber, 2007 ), the latter is about to be published in 10 languages. The German translation was released last year and has become a bestseller, with Die Zeit proclaiming it “a great literary achievement”.

In 2008 he published a collection of short stories set in Galway, Country Of The Grand. Mr Donovan is now Reader in English and creative writing at the University of Plymouth in England.

The Bank of Ireland Award for business, public policy, and law will go to Margaret Sweeney, the CEO of Postbank; the Bank of Ireland Award for engineering and informatics will go to Prof Brian Moran, professor of mechanical engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.

The Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge will be presented to Pádraig Ó hAoláin of Údarás na Gaeltachta while the Medtronic Award for medicine, nursing, and health sciences will go to Prof Rose Anne Kenny, head of the department of Clinical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin.

The Seavite Award for Science will go to Dr J Paul Duffy, vice president of manufacturing for Ireland and Singapore and site leader for Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals.

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