NUI Galway recently launched the new Colm Ó hEocha Bursary, established in memory of a former university president and as a further promotion of third level education through the Irish language.
The bursary which has a value of €3,000 will be awarded annually to the NUI Galway graduate who has registered for a taught master’s programme in the university provided through Irish and who has, in her/his primary degree taken at NUI Galway, obtained the highest overall percentage of those eligible.
Originally from Dungarvan, Co Waterford, Dr Colm Ó hEocha was president of NUI Galway (then known as University College Galway ) from 1975 to 1995. Dr Ó hEocha had previously been the university’s first professor of biochemistry from 1963. He also served as the chair of the New Ireland Forum, of the Science Council of Ireland, of the Arts Council, and of the Interim Local Radio Commission. Dr Ó hEocha was the recipient of honorary doctorates from Queen’s University Belfast, Dublin University, University of Limerick, and Connecticut College.
Commenting on the significance of the bursary and its commemoration of its namesake, NUI Galway president, Dr Jim Browne, said: “Colm Ó hEocha is a towering figure in the history of NUI Galway – as a teacher, researcher, and as president of the university at a time of enormous transition. Conscious of his achievements and his distinguished legacy, the university has established Sparánacht Choilm Uí Eocha – the Colm Ó hEocha Bursary with support of Galway University Foundation. We are proud to recognise and commemorate Colm Ó hEocha in the presentation of this bursary which gives expression, in a special way to his support for graduate studies within the university, as well as his love for and commitment to Irish language