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NUIG announces 2012 Alumni Award winners

NUIG announces 2012 Alumni Award winners

Druid co-founder and actress Marie Mullen and the Attorney General Máire Whelan will be among the recipients of the 2012 NUI Galway Alumni Awards.

The awards will be presented at the 12th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday March 3 in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus.

The awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. The awards programme so far has honoured 68 graduates, including Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D. Higgins and RTÉ journalist and broadcaster Sean O’Rourke.

There are six recipients of the various Alumni Awards. The AIB Award for arts, social sciences and Celtic studies goes to Marie Mullen, one of Ireland’s finest actresses.

Along with Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally, she founded Druid Theatre in 1975.

Marie has appeared in The Playboy of the Western World, The Year of the Hiker, The Tinker’s Wedding, The Well Of The Saints (directed by Garry Hynes for Druid Theatre), as well as Druid’s DruidSynge Cycle in 2006, to name but a few.

She also appeared in the sell-out success Long Day’s Journey Into Night, (Druid Theatre) alongside James Cromwell (who can be seen in the Oscar nominated film The Artist), Aidan Kelly, and Michael Esper, at both the Town Hall Theatre and at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin.

Maire has also won numerous awards for her work, including The 2005 Irish Times Theatre Awards’ Best Actress Award; a Tony Award for Best Actress; a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh International Festival; Best Supporting Actress Award for the Harvey’s Irish Theatre Awards in 1985 and 1983; and Actress of the Year Award (Evening Herald in 1984 and Sunday Independent in 1983).

The Bank of Ireland Award for business, public policy, and law is Máire Whelan, the Attorney General of Ireland.

She is a former advisor to the Irish Commission for Prisoners Overseas and served as chairperson of the Free Legal Advice Centres. She also served as vice chair of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for Ireland. Máire grew up in Kinvara, County Galway. She lives in Dublin with her husband, Bernard McCabe, and son, Niall.

The Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics will go to Gerry Kilcommins, the vice-president of Global Vascular Operations and general manager of Medtronic Galway.

Mr Kilcommins holds global responsibility for all Vascular manufacturing activities including a number of facilities outside Ireland, such as in the US, Mexico, Italy, and Switzerland.

The NUI Galway Alumni Award for Science goes to Prof Fergal O’Gara, the chair of microbiology at UCC and director of the BIOMERIT Research Centre.

Prof Fergal O’Gara’s research interests focus on the genetic and molecular biology of microbe-host interactions in medical and environmental biotechnology. He also acts as Editor for a number of international scientific journals.

The Medtronic Award for medicine, nursing and health sciences goes to Prof Tim O’Brien, director, Gait Laboratory and consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Central Remedial Clinic.

Prof O’Brien was the first recipient of the Medal for outstanding contribution to Paediatric Orthopaedics from the British Paediatric Society. Born in Loughrea, he is married to Dr Mary Jennings and they have three children, all graduates of NUIG.

The Duais Hewlett Packard don Gaeilge goes to Peadar Mac An Iomaire, iar-phríomhfheidhmeannach, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh.

He has established and managed Gaeltacht co-operatives, group water schemes, and other community organisations and projects. He was appointed chairperson of Coimisiún na Gaeltachta, a government commission on the Gaeltacht in 2000.

For booking information for the gala, contact Catherine Conroy on 091 - 492972 or email For online bookings see

Foilsithe ar - 26 Eanáir 2012

Galway Advertiser - Kernan Andrews

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