Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT ) has awarded Honorary Fellowships to John Crumlish, CEO of the Galway International Arts Festival, for his vast contribution to arts and culture in the west, and John Muldoon, Connacht Rugby Captain and a graduate of GMIT, for his major contribution to rugby and sport.
They were presented with their Honorary Fellowship Awards by GMIT President, Dr Fergal Barry, at last week’s Conferring ceremony in the Radisson Hotel, Galway, which was attended by their family members from Donegal and Galway.
GMIT President, Dr Fergal Barry, says: ““The award of an Honorary Fellowship is the most prestigious award that the Institute can bestow. John Crumlish and John Muldoon are truly deserving of this recognition and are wonderful role models for our students and graduates”.
Paying tribute to John Muldoon at the ceremony, Gerry O’Neil, Head of Dept, GMIT, said: “When John Muldoon signed a new contract with Connacht Rugby in January 2016 for the 2016/17 season, his 14th season, not many people would have predicted that the 2015/16 season would end with Connacht being the Guinness PRO12 champions. Established in 1885, one year after the GAA, the winning of the Guinness PRO12 was the first major trophy for Connacht.”
“To say that John was central to that achievement is not giving him full credit. His inspirational leadership, dedication and loyalty to Connacht Rugby is unmatched and the support and encouragement he gives to all the players is exceptional.
Paying tribute to John Crumlish at the ceremony, Cáit Noone, Head of the GMIT College of Tourism & Arts, said John came to Galway from Donegal in the 1980s to study psychology at University College Galway – or now known as NUI Galway. From these early formative years he was and remains a talented musician, playing guitar and piano and he writes music.
“Soon after he graduated he moved to Derry to teach but the lure of the west of Ireland was calling and he returned to Galway in 1988 and was immediately immersed into the arts sector in Galway. He joined the Galway band ‘The Sleepwalkers’ and also joined the Galway Arts Festival as a volunteer.
“He became production manager with the festival and subsequently went on to work with Macnas, and after some time formed a company within Macnas called Mac Teo, where the team undertook corporate work throughout Ireland promoting the arts. John returned to the Galway Arts Festival as CEO in 2003.”
“GIAF is now a cultural necessity on so many calendars. Like all great events and programmes every spectacle needs a leader, a team to make this happen and John Crumlish is that person.
“He has been an ardent supporter of the GMIT Centre for the Creative Arts and Media and earlier this year kindly opened the annual Student Exhibition and shared many words of wisdom with students and friends. He and his colleagues have engaged with GMIT to look at other ways students and graduates can take part in the festival to order to enhance further learning and create new cultural experiences.”