NUI Galway has conferred three honorary degrees on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Lt General Sean McCann, and Finian O’Sullivan.
A Degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. A native of Carna, Geoghegan-Quinn is a former TD for Galway West (1977 to 1997 ), and was the first woman cabinet minister since the foundation of the State.
A Degree of Doctor of Laws was also conferred upon Lt General Seán McCann. Born in Cork, the recently retired chief of staff of the Irish Defence Forces was among the first of the cadet classes to attend what was then UCG. A graduate of the United States Command and General Staff College, he served overseas on six occasions, leading the Defence Forces during the historic initial deployment of Irish personnel to Mali and Syria.
A Degree of Doctor of Science was conferred upon Finian O’Sullivan. A science alumnus of NUI Galway, he worked with Chevron as part of its exploration and development team in the arctic and Canada, and joined the oil service company United Geophysical in California in 1980. O’Sullivan set up his own company, Burren Energy Plc, which discovered and developed hydrocarbon resources in Central Asia, India, and West Africa.
Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway president Dr Jim Browne said; “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of political life, public policy, and the international oil industry.”
The three join the ranks of previous honorary alumni including Nelson Mandela, Hillary Clinton, Christy O’Connor snr, Christy O’Connor jnr, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan, and Margaret Atwood.