About the Awardees

Chris de Burgh M.A. (1990)

In a career spanning three decades, 17 studio albums, 3,000 concerts worldwide and album sales in excess of 40 million, Chris de Burgh is one of Ireland’s most successful artists.

The foundations for a remarkable and durable career were laid back in 1975 with the release of Chris’s debut album, Far Beyond These Castle Walls, featuring a single, Flying, which spent 17 weeks at No. 1 in Brazil. His 1980 album Eastern Wind became one of the biggest-selling albums of all time in Norway while its follow-up, Man on the Line, reached the Top 30 in UK, the US and 20 other countries.

Even greater success was to follow with the release of 1986’s Into The Light, an album which featured The Lady In Red, a classic which achieved No.1 status in 25 countries, including the UK, went to No. 2 in America and has now sold in excess of 8 million copies. 

Chris has since gone on to release several more albums including Beautiful Dreams (1995), Quiet Revolution (1999), and Timing Is Everything (2002). Chris established his own record label Ferryman Productions in 2003 which released his latest three albums, The Road To Freedom (2004), The Storyman (2006) and Footsteps (2009).

Over the years Chris has remained connected to his alma mater where he studied English and French.  The singer is a passionate supporter of Trinity’s Science Gallery sitting on its Development Board and, as a ‘Leonardo’, assisting with the Gallery’s creative output.

Peter Fallon M.A. (1976)

When Peter Fallon arrived in Trinity in 1968, he was already a published poet. He quickly became involved in arts activities around the campus and later, with the group Tara Telephone, around the country.  He played rugby and cricket for the College and worked in the Sheriff Street Literacy Programme.

In 1970, when he was just 18, Peter founded The Gallery Press.  Within a couple of years he was publishing books by two of his lecturers, Brendan Kennelly and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin.

Since then he has edited and published more than four hundred collections of poems and plays by Ireland’s leading writers and he has fostered a generation of outstanding younger poets.

Peter returned to Trinity in 1994 as Writer Fellow in the Department of English where he completed a dramatization of Kavanagh’s Tarry Flynn.  More recent books include The Georgics of Virgil (a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation reissued by Oxford University Press in its World Classics series) and The Company of Horses.  He received the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the Irish-American Cultural Institution and he is a member of Aosdána.  Peter lives with his family in Loughcrew, County Meath.

Mark Pollock B.A. (1998)

When he lost his sight in 1998, Mark was a final year student, Captain of the University boat club, an international rower and in line for a top job with a London investment bank. At first, Mark felt he had lost everything but he knew he had two choices: to give up or get on with his life.

Mark began the process of rebuilding his identity. Using his Guide Dog Larry, he learnt to negotiate Dublin’s busy streets and to use a computer with the aid of speech technology.

He continued competitive rowing and went on to win silver and bronze medals for Northern Ireland in the 2002 Commonwealth Games. He also took up marathon running completing six marathons in seven days in China’s Gobi desert in 2003 and the North Pole marathon in 2004. Mark’s biggest achievement came in 2009 when he overcame some of the toughest terrain on the planet to become the first blind man to reach the South Pole.

Through his experiences as an elite athlete and a blind man, Mark has become a highly successful international speaker. He sits on a number of boards and advisory groups in the not-for-profit sector and is Vice President of Outward Bound (NI). Despite his life-changing difficulties, Mark has motivated himself to make the most of his opportunities and achieve his dreams.

Dr Louise Richardson M.A. (1980)

Louise was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews in 2009. Prior to her appointment at St Andrews, she was Executive Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and was instrumental in the transformation of Radcliffe, once a women's college, into an interdisciplinary centre promoting scholarship across a wide range of academic fields and the creative arts. For 12 years she was a professor of government at Harvard. Her teaching has been recognized with both national and local awards including the Levenson Prize, awarded annually by Harvard’s undergraduate student body to the best teachers at the University.  

A political scientist by training, Louise has specialized in international security with an emphasis on terrorist movements. She taught courses on terrorism at Harvard College, Graduate School, and Law School. Her publications include: What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat (2006); The Roots of Terrorism (2006); Democracy and Counterterrorism: Lessons from the Past (2007), and When Allies Differ (1996).

She has written numerous articles on international terrorism, British foreign and defense policy, security institutions, and international relations. She serves on the editorial board of the journals Security Studies and Democracy and Security. Richardson was awarded the Sumner Prize for work towards the prevention of war and the establishment of universal peace.

Louise sits on Trinity College’s Long Room Hub Advisory Board.