Honorary doctorates for two of West Cork's finest

November 8th, 2016 5:40 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

UCC Honorary Doctor of Economic Science Kieran Calnan (left) and Honorary Doctor of Literature Dee Forbes, both from West Cork, share a joke at the conferring ceremony at University College Cork on Wednesday.

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WEST Cork was well represented at UCC on Wednesday when honorary doctorates were conferred on Drimoleague native and current Director General of RTÉ, Dee Forbes, and Rosscarbery-born Kieran Calnan, chairman of the Irish Sea Fisheries Board, BIM. 

Joining them were journalist Nell McCafferty and Silicon Valley marketing guru Regis McKenna who were all recognised for their outstanding contribution and success in their fields.

Taking place on Boole Day, the birthdate of George Boole and one of the University’s most eminent professors, UCC president, Dr Michael Murphy, acknowledged this too.

‘At UCC we are enormously proud of our long tradition of independent thinking. Today is a special day for two reasons; firstly we are acknowledging the talent and drive of four extraordinary honorary graduands, and secondly we are awarding them on the birthday of George Boole, the ultimate independent thinker,’ said Dr Murphy.

Dee Forbes made history earlier this year after becoming the first woman to be appointed Director General of RTÉ, as well as becoming the first external appointment in almost 50 years. In addition to her outstanding leadership, UCC also acknowledged her evident support for the economic success of West Cork as well as her impressive international track record working in the television industry.

Kieran Calnan is the former chief executive of South Western Services (SWS) Limited, which was sold to Bord Gais in 2009 for more than €500 million. He also played an intrinsic role in the successful promotion of the award-winning West Cork Fuchsia brand. 

He has been responsible for driving job creation and revenue to the West Cork region through the development of the state of the art Business and Technology Park. Kieran is chairman of the Irish Sea Fisheries Board and continues to contribute to the local, regional and national economy of Ireland.

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