Former Tánaiste and Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore, actor and Druid Theatre co-founder Maire Mullen, and the popular classical quartet ConTempo, will be among the recipients of honorary degrees from NUI Galway.
The president of NUIG, Dr Jim Browne, will present the degrees on Friday June 10 at 12 noon in the Bailey Allen Hall, Árus na Mac Léinn.
Eamon Gilmore will be presented with a Degree of Doctor of Laws. He was born in Caltra, east Galway, and his long political career began in UCG in the early 1970s when he became a member of the UCG Republican Club which was linked to Official Sinn Féin. The party later changed its name to Sinn Féin - The Workers Party, and by the time Mr Gilmore was elected to Dún Laoghaire Borough Council and to Dublin County Council in 1985 it was known as just The Worker's Party.
He became a WP TD in 1989, but left the party in 1992 along with Proinsias De Rossa, and others, when the WP became embroiled in controversy over the collapse of the Soviet Union and concerns over the continued existence of the Official IRA. Mr Gilmore helped De Rossa found Democratic Left, and served as minister ofsState at the Department of the Marine during the 1994 to 1997 Rainbow colaition with FG and Labour.
Democratic Left merged with Labour in 1999 and he became Labour leader in 2007. During that time he presided over Labour's greatest election victory in 2011, with the party winning 37 seats. In the subsequent Fine Gael-Labour coalition he served as Tánaiste and minister for foreign affairs, before standing down as leader in 2014 after poor local election results. He retired from politics earlier this year.
Marie Mullen co-founded Druid Theatre with Garry Hynes and Mick Lally in 1975 [pictured above together in 2005] and remains one of its leading corps of actors. She has appeared in many of the company's most celebrated performances and has won numerous awards for her work, including the 1998 Tony Award for Best Actress in a play for Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane; the 2012 Alumni Award for arts, social sciences and Celtic studies from NUI Galway; and the Special Tribute Award at The Irish Times Theatre Awards in 2013, for her "immense contribution to Irish theatre." Ms Mullen will be presented with the Degree of Doctor of Arts this month.
The Degree of Doctor of Music will be presented jointly to all four members of ConTempo - Andreea Banciu, Adrian Mantu, Ingrid Nicolam and Bogfanm Sofei.
One of Ireland's most popular quartets, and widely respected across Europe, ConTempo was formed in 1995 in Bucharest. The group has performed world-wide in many prestigious venues, winning prizes at competitions in Munich, Rome and London, and worked alongside artists of the highest calibre. It has broadcast widely on European radio and has premiered and recorded many contemporary pieces. In 2014 ConTempo was also appointed RTÉ’s Quartet in Residence. ConTempo was chosen as the Galway Music Residency's Ensemble in Residence in 2003, a position it contines to hold.
A honorary degree of Doctor of Laws will also be presented to Brendan Flynn.