2012 Naughton Scholarship Awards
Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin
Saturday, 22 September 2012
Minister Quinn, Martin and Carmel Naughton and members of the Naughton family, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.
It is a pleasure for me to say a few words of welcome to Trinity College and to Science Gallery.
We are here for a very special occasion - the Naughton scholarship awards.
It is important that we as a country recognize and reward talent, that we encourage excellence and celebrate achievement - that is what these awards are about, and indeed what our universities strive to achieve.
In Ireland great things can happen, are happening every day through the work of universities. Education creates opportunities, and the Naughton scholarships allow a diverse group of young people to avail of these opportunities, talented young people from around the country.
It is fitting that we present the awards here in the Science Gallery on Pearse Street - on a street named of course after Padraig Pearse, a renowned educationalist who recognized the transformative power of education for each individual's life chances. Pearse Street is increasingly Trinity's street in the city, with our new Biomedical Sciences Institute just down the road, and buildings extending along Pearse Street towards The Lir - the National Academy of Dramatic Art, and the Trinity College Enterprise Campus at Grand Canal Dock.
It's a pleasure to welcome other university presidents here today - my comrades-in-arms so to speak - I'm sure they, with me, welcome the new Naughton scholars with open arms; Ireland's universities have a strong sense of their public mission, all ranking among the top universities of the world. They are a resource for our country's social and economic regeneration in these difficult times.
So welcome all.
And I hand back to our Master of Ceremonies, to Fergal Naughton, who was a student of mine in Mechanical Engineering many moons ago!