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Posted: 20 June 2006

UCD honours author, businessman, aid worker and nobel laureate

UCD awarded honorary doctorates to Anthony Cronin (Doctor of Literature), Peter Gleeson (Doctor of Laws), Michael Kelly SJ (Doctor of Laws), and Josť Saramago (Doctor of Literature) on 16 June 2006 for their exceptional achievements which are an inspiration to current and future generations of students.

Pictured (from left to right): Peter Gleeson, Jose Saramago, Dr. Hugh Brady, President, UCD, Anthony Cronin, and Michael Kelly SJ
Pictured (from left to right): Peter Gleeson, Jose Saramago, Dr. Hugh Brady, President, UCD, Anthony Cronin, and Michael Kelly SJ

Anthony Cronin - Honorary Doctor of Literature

Anthony Cronin was born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. He is the author of several books of verse including the long poems RMS Titanic, Reductionist Poem and The End of the Modern World. He has also written various other collections, most recently of which is The Minotaur and Other Poems (1999). 1964 saw the publication of his novel The Life of Riley, which was succeeded by Identity Papers in 1976. He has also written a memoir of literary Dublin and London, Dead as Doornails (1976); No Laughing Matter, The Life and Times of Flann O’Brien (1989); and Samuel Beckett, The Last Modernist (1996). His critical books include A Question of Modernity (1964) and Heritage Now, Irish Literature in the English Language (1981). He has been associate editor of The Bell and literary editor of Time and Tide. He taught at Drake University and the University of Montana and was cultural and artistic adviser to former Taoiseach, Charles J. Haughey. In 1983 he received the Marten Toonder Award for his contribution to Irish Literature. He is the founding member of Aosdána, of which he was made a Saoi in 2003.

Peter Gleeson - Honorary Doctor of Laws

Peter Gleeson is one of Ireland's most successful businessmen. He comes from a distinguished business family, his father W.J. Gleeson was a key figure in the development of the Jefferson Smurfit Group. After he succeeded his father as Chairman and CEO of Castle Knitwear, he successfully consolidated and enhanced the company's commercial success in an extremely competitive commercial climate. He served on the board of the Smurfit Group for two decades, up to the 2002 Madison Dearborn buyout. Outside his business interests, he is Chairman of the Friends of the Royal Hospital Donnybrook and is a member of Milltown Golf Club and Old Belvedere Rugby Club. He is a committed philanthropist to medical and educational causes.

Michael Kelly, SJ – Honorary Doctor of Laws

Michael Kelly worked closely with Irish Aid in the development of its policy on HIVAIDS in the education sector in Zambia and in other countries in Africa. He was instrumental in the development of a comprehensive response to HIVAIDS by the Ministry of Education in Zambia. He also worked extensively with a number of international organisations such as UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank. He is a member of the Mobile Task Team on the Impact of HIVAIDS on Education based in the Health, Economics and HIV Division of the University of waZulu-Natal. Kelly’s contribution to the complex subject of HIVAIDS combines the highest standard of scholarship with compassion and courage.

José Saramago – Honorary Doctor of Literature

José Saramago was born in Azinhaga, Portugal in the province of Ribatejo. Saramago was educated as a technician, and before becoming a journalist, translator, and writer, he had several manual jobs. In the 1970s Saramago supported himself mostly by translation works. Since 1979, he has devoted himself entirely to writing. He was in his mid-fifties before he won international acclaim. In 1982, the publication of Baltasar and Blimunda first brought him to the attention of an English-speaking readership. The novel won the Portuguese PEN Club Award. He has also written poetry, essays, plays and a journal. Saramago was awarded the Camões Prize in 1995 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998.

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