Brian O’Driscoll conferred with honorary degree among four others

Olivia O’Leary, Caitriona Crowe, Gero Miesenböck and George Miley also received honorary doctorates alongside O’Driscoll

Photo Credit – Sarah Meehan/ Trinity News 

Trinity conferred honorary degrees on five recipients at a ceremony held in the Exam Hall today,  Irish rugby player Brian O’Driscoll and former journalist Olivia O’ Leary, were among those conferred.

The nomination process for conferring honorary degrees, states that individuals must show an “outstanding contribution to scholarship, society, culture and/or civil society”. The successful candidates are chosen by the Advisory Committee on Honorary Degrees, which is chaired by the Chancellor of the University, Mary Robinson.

O’Driscoll is known for his status as the most capped Irish international rugby player, having played 133 matches for Ireland. He is also the highest all time scorer in Irish rugby with 46 international tries.

O’ Driscoll was joined by O’Leary, who has been described as one of Ireland’s foremost broadcasters, hosting famous programme Today Tonight and Prime Time.  O’Leary was also conferred with a Doctor in Laws

There were three other recipients of the honorary doctorate, Catriona Crowe, who was senior archivist of the National Archives until her retirement last year. Crowe managed the 1911 census project and has been dedicated to making Ireland’s archives accessible.

Gero Miesenbock, Waynflete Professor of Physiology and Director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at the University of Oxford, developed the field of research called optogenetics. He has used optogenetics to investigate sleep, learning and memory, and action choice.

George Miley, an Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at Leiden University, who has also received a Dutch knighthood for his services to astronomy and society.  Miley has championed the use of astronomy as a tool for education and development in young children.

The hour long ceremony was held in latin following a robed walk from the provost’s house to the examination hall. Trinity’s public orator, Anna Chahoud, gave a Latin oration on each of the recipients. Following this they were enrolled as honorary degree recipients. Dr Patrick Prendergast and Chancellor Mary Robinson presided on the day for the ceremony.

Peter Kelly

Peter Kelly is the current Assistant Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister Law student, and a former Deputy News Editor.