Galway’s greatest soccer player Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy, and one of Galway’s greatest Irish traditional musicians Frankie Gavin, were presented with honorary doctorates in NUI, Galway this week.
On Tuesday, Messrs Deacy and Gavin were among five prominent individuals presented with the honorary master’s degrees, the others were RTÉ’s northern editor Tommie Gorman, Fr Raymond Browne, and Christian Brother Seán MacConmara.
Frankie Gavin received the award for his lifetime contribution to Irish traditional music at home and abroad. Frankie helped found the influential and successful Irish trad group De Dannan in 1973. He has recorded 16 albums with De Dannan, solo albums, and an album with Stephane Grapelli. He has appeared on the Rolling Stones’ Voodoo Lounge album, performed live with the band, and has recently recorded with the Stones’ Ronnie Wood.
Eamonn ‘Chick’ Deacy is honoured for his achievements in soccer as a former player with Aston Villa, Galway United, and the Republic Of Ireland in the 1980s. Chick was part of the great Aston Villa side of 1979 to 1982. He won an English First Division medal with the team when Villa took the 1980/81 season title and also played in many of the matches during the run up to Villa winning the 1982 European Cup.
Chick gained four international caps for the RoI and played in two international friendlies. He returned to play for Galway United from 1984 to 1991 winning an FAI Cup medal with them in 1991.
Tommie Gorman was honoured for his continued excellence in journalism and broadcasting. He has served as RTÉ north west correspondent, Europe editor, and Northern editor. He conducted the famous 2002 interview with Roy Keane, and made the much praised documentaries Paisley - From Troublemaker to Peace Maker and Europe, Cancer and Me.
Commenting on the conferring of this year’s graduands, NUIG president Dr James J Browne said: “This group of graduands is a very diverse and particularly worthy group. Their contributions in many spheres - music, journalism, sport, public service, and education - have been outstanding, and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.”