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UCD Foundation Day Medal for author Colm Tóibín

Posted February 13, 2017

Irish novelist Colm Tóibín has been presented with the UCD Foundation Day Medal in recognition of his distinguished literary achievements.

Tóibín is the author of Brooklyn, winner of the 2009 Costa Book of the Year. The novel was adapted into the Oscar-nominated film of the same name. He has published 10 books that include fiction, non-fiction, and collections of essays and short stories. His body of work also includes two plays and a memoir.

UCD President Professor Andrew Deeks presented Tóibín with the award at a ceremony in New York City. He said Tóibín is “one of [UCD’s] most outstanding arts and humanities graduates.”

Tóibín is professor of humanities at Columbia University in New York and chancellor at University of Liverpool. He was previously visiting professor at Princeton University and Stanford University.

Pictured: UCD President Professor Andrew J Deeks presents Colm Tóibín with the UCD Foundation Day Medal. Credit: Ben Asen Photography

“Colm’s work is distinguished by an elegance, brilliance and precision of style,” said Barbara Jones, Consul General of Ireland in New York, who read the citation at the award ceremony.

“His gifted artistic talents enable him to transfigure the minutiae of everyday life, to reach readers from very different times and places, and to lead us to a greater imaginative understanding of a shared and diverse humanity – qualities comparable indeed to another UCD graduate, James Joyce.”

Tóibín was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford. He is a member of the Irish artists’ association Aosdána. His work has been translated into more than 30 languages.

In 2011, he received the Irish PEN Award for Literature. Organisers described him as a “champion of minorities” for his work that has covered same-sex relationships.

The UCD Foundation Day Medal is presented to distinguished alumnus of University College Dublin who have achieved international recognition in their field. It was inaugurated in 2004 to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the opening of UCD’s antecedent, the Catholic University of Ireland.

Previous winners include novelist Maeve Binchy, Riverdance music composer Bill Whelan and former Irish rugby captain Brian O’Driscoll.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations