About the Awardees

Dr. Patrick Brennan M.A. (J.O.), Ph.D. (1967)

The outstanding quality of Patrick Brennan's research, together with his personal dedication to the elimination of leprosy and tuberculosis, is recognized throughout the world. He has served as Chairman of the World Health Organisation Programme for Tropical Disease Research and as research advisor to the Sasagawa Memorial Health Foundation who, through the Nippon Foundation, underwrites most of the Global Leprosy Elimination Campaign.

Patrick was born in Co. Roscommon in 1938 and completed his secondary education in Blackrock College. He graduated from University College Cork before coming to Trinity College to undertake research, leading to a Ph.D. (1965), on the mode of action of the anti-tuberculosis drug, Isoniazid. His research was supervised by Professor Frank Winder and was carried out in the Medical Research Council Laboratories (long since demolished and replaced by the O'Reilly Institute) which already had a high reputation for research in the areas of tuberculosis, leprosy and cancer.

In 1976 Patrick left Ireland for the USA to join his wife, Carol, who had been appointed an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado. He went on to hold senior posts in the National Jewish Centre for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine and the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver before being appointed Associate Professor, Professor and ultimately Distinguished Professor (a very rare honour) at Colorado State University (Fort Collins). He also founded a major research centre to study mycobacteria and has published more than 300 peer reviewed papers on tuberculosis and leprosy.

Lady Harriet Bridgeman M.A., (1964)

Viscountess Bridgeman is Founder and Executive Chairman of The Bridgeman Art Library Ltd. Graduating from Trinity College Dublin in 1964, Harriet Bridgeman was appointed executive editor of The Masters, a weekly art monograph. Following this, she conceived, edited and produced another magazine, Discovering Antiques, for which she formed her own production company. Seeing the opportunities for a one-stop photographic archive of works of art, she founded the Bridgeman Art Library in 1972. The Library has since enjoyed continuous expansion, with branches in New York, Paris and Berlin, representing over 2,000 international museums, galleries, private collections and artists and only recently signing up the estate of Francis Bacon, the New York Public Library, the National Gallery of Australia, and the Freer and Sackler Galleries.

Harriet Bridgeman is a founder member of BAPLA (The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies) and represents them on the British Copyright Council. In 2006, she founded the Artists' Collecting Society to collect Artists' Resale Rights. She has been co-editor or author of a number of books ranging from The Encyclopaedia of Victoriana (Country Life) and The Illustrated History of Needlework (Paddington Press) to The British Eccentric (Lyle Publications), Guide to Gardens open to the Public in Great Britain and Europe (Granada) and The Last Word (Andre Deutsch).

In 1997 Viscountess Bridgeman was awarded the European Women of Achievement Award in the Arts in recognition of her role in promoting European culture and in 2005 was voted the International Business Woman of the Year in the International Business Awards.

Dr Martin McAleese B.Dent.Sc., M.A., (1984)

Following his graduation from Queen's University Belfast with a B.Sc. in Physics, Martin McAleese went on to train and work as an accountant. Subsequently, he graduated in dentistry from Trinity College Dublin and ran a very successful general practice in Co. Armagh, with a focus on orthodontics.

When his wife, Mary McAleese, was elected President of Ireland in 1997, Martin wholeheartedly devoted himself to support her work of bridge-building between all communities on the island. In particular he has sought to develop greater trust and reconciliation among communities in Northern Ireland, notably involving the working class loyalist community in his native Belfast. Martin has promoted various initiatives encouraging these loyalist communities to move away from a culture of paramilitarism towards a future of peace, prosperity and constructive community development.

"Your Country, Your Call", a national competition which was the brain-child of Martin McAleese, was launched earlier this year. Over the last 18 months Martin has devoted considerable time and effort to this initiative bringing together a dynamic team of people from the public and private sectors whose commitment and support advanced his concept from vision to reality. The public were asked to submit transformational proposals that, when implemented, would secure prosperity and jobs for Ireland. The winners were selected from a phenomenally successful response in September 2010.

Dr Michael PeirceB.A.I., M.Sc., M.A., Ph.D., M.A.I. (h.c.) (1964)

Michael Peirce graduated from Trinity Engineering in 1964 and then moved to ICI in the UK. He returned to a lectureship in the Engineering School in 1972, was awarded a PhD for his research in the manufacture of computer systems and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1975. He established one of the first campus companies at Trinity in 1978 and subsequently resigned his position to become the Managing Director of Mentec Ltd. which, in a very short time, became one of Irelands largest “home start” IT Companies with offices in the USA, UK, Belfast and Europe.

Mike moved from secure employment to establish Mentec and has been a role model for entrepreneurs for over three decades. From the outset, Mike believed that Ireland could position itself in the high tech arena by providing specialised services to niche markets. He has employed hundreds of engineering graduates and through shrewd investment, hard work and ambition, has grown his business to an international scale. Mike has been actively involved in numerous high-technology start-ups in Ireland, including Parthus, Mentor Capital, Iontas and Vedia and has actively supported employee spin-off companies in their development and growth.

Mike is highly regarded in the business world and has always maintained a huge commitment to Trinity. He still gives seminars and lectures on real life engineering. and is a member of the Engineering School Development Board which has developed and is implementing an ambitious 10 year strategic plan. Through his leadership, optimism and forthright attitude, Mike is a true pioneer and a wonderful role model.