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Honorary Degrees 2013-14


On Friday 6th December 2013 at 3 pm, the following honorary degrees of the University of Dublin were conferred at a Commencements Ceremony in the Public Theatre (Orations PDF):

Lelia Doolan (Litt.D.)

Lelia Doolan is a notable producer and theatre director as well as film maker, journalist, writer, teacher, community activist and commentator on social justice. She has demonstrated a life-long commitment to the arts and entertainment in all its forms. She began acting and presenting in the newly established RTE in 1961, moving soon to producer/director. She was responsible for the establishment of The Riordans. Dr Doolan was artistic director of the Abbey Theatre for two years before completing a PhD in anthropology at Queen’s University where she also worked in community video and adult education in Belfast. Between 1979 and 1988 she taught at the College of Commerce, Rathmines. She was chairperson of the Irish Film Board between 1993 and 1996, was a founder and director of the Galway Film Fleadh, and is currently Chairperson of Solas Galway’s Picture Palace Teoranta. Dr Doolan recently directed a documentary about Bernadette McAliskey.

Michael John 'Johnny' Giles (LL.D. )

A distinguished sportsman and commentator, Johnny Giles is one of Ireland’s best known and most popular sports figures. He is a former professional footballer playing first for Manchester United and then for the very successful Leeds United side in the 1960s and 70s. He also played 59 times for Ireland, and is widely regarded as one of the best ever Irish footballers. Since retiring from professional soccer, Giles managed several teams, including the Republic of Ireland, and subsequently served as an analyst and commentator for RTE and other media, contributing enormously to public understanding of the sport.>Born in inner city Dublin, he remains close to his roots. He has made very significant and sustained endeavours to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds develop their sporting and life skills, culminating in the establishment in 2011 of the John Giles Foundation which aims to promote soccer as a positive influence in the lives of disadvantaged young people.

Jane Goodall (Sc.D.)

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, is an ethologist. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 54-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. Her ground-breaking research redefined our understanding of the great apes and made her ‘the woman who redefined man’. A tireless campaigner for conservation, animal welfare issues and environmental consciousness, she is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute working in nearly 30 countries and of Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots, a humanitarian, conservation and education programme for young people, active in more than 130 countries. She was made a UN Messenger of Peace by Kofi Annan in 2002 and reappointed by Secretary General Ban ki Moon.

John Laver (Litt.D.)

Emeritus Professor at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and previously Vice-Principal for Research, University of Edinburgh, John Laver is one of the outstanding phoneticians of his day, holding many distinctions and awards for his scholarship. His book, Principles of Phonetics is an essential reference work for phoneticians and for all who work in the area of speech communication. His research on voice quality has intersected with and had a major impact on the research of Trinity’s Phonetics and Speech Laboratory. John Laver has also been a tireless and eloquent advocate for the arts and humanities across all disciplines and was instrumental in making the case for increased research funding for the humanities in the UK. Professor Laver has made a significant contribution to Trinity, initially as chair of the 2006 external review of arts and humanities research in Trinity which led to the creation of the Trinity Long Room Hub, and subsequently as inaugural Chair of its Board.

David Went (LL.D.)

David Went holds a BA Mod. in Legal Science from Trinity and graduated as the Sir John Brooke scholar of his year from Kings Inns as a Barrister at Law. He is one of the foremost voluntary contributors to the College in recent decades and gave freely of his time and expertise over 11 years as Chairman of the Trinity Foundation during which time the Foundation, through its board and staff, was tremendously successful. He has also been personally involved in supporting the Trinity Access Programme (TAP) and the National Institute for Intellectual Disability (NIID). He has had a distinguished career in banking and insurance, serving in many senior positions in Ireland and abroad as: Chief Executive of Ulster Investment Bank, Chief Executive of Ulster Bank Group, Chief Executive of Coutts Group and Group Chief Executive of Irish Life & Permanent plc (1998-2007). In 2009 he was appointed by the Minister for Finance as Chairman of the Consultative Industry Panel to the Financial Regulator. He has been Chairman of the Board of The Irish Times Limited since 2007.

Related Events:

To celebrate Lelia Doolan’s award of an Honorary Doctorate by Trinity College on Friday 6 December, a public screening of  her film on Bernadette McAliskey entitled  ‘Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey’ will take place in the PACCAR Theatre, Science Gallery, Trinity College Dublin on:

Date: Thursday 5 December 2013
Time: 3 - 5 pm
Venue: PACCAR Theatre, Science Gallery

Dr Ruth Barton of the Department of Film Studies will host Questions and Answers with Lelia Doolan after the screening. All welcome


To celebrate his award of an Honorary Doctorate by Trinity College on Friday 6 December, John Giles will participate in a Research Centre for Contemporary Irish History Witness Seminar entitled 'Irish youths and English soccer in the 1950s'  in the Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub on:

Date: Wednesday 11 December 2013
Time: 4 – 5.30 pm
Venue: Neill/Hoey Lecture Theatre, Trinity Long Room Hub

The seminar will be followed by a reception hosted by Dublin University AFC.
All welcome.

Last updated 10 December 2013 by