Robert Redford and John Hume awarded Honorary Degrees

Posted on: 12 July 2008

The academy-award winning director, producer and actor, Robert Redford and John Hume, founding member of the SDLP and its president for more than two decades, were among five recipients to receive honorary degrees at Trinity College Dublin on Friday 11th July 2008.

Robert Redford Litt.D. (Doctor in Letters)

With a career spanning more than 50 years, Robert Redford has been an international star since the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, going on in the 1970s to become America’s top grossing box office attraction. In all, he has appeared in 35 films. He is one of the most powerful advocates and sponsors of independent film-making in the U.S., and has also been an activist on environmental issues and Native American rights.

John Hume LL.D. (Doctor in Laws)

John Hume was the leader of moderate nationalism in Northern Ireland for 25 years. He was the President of the SDLP for more than two decades and has been a tireless opponent of violent action in Northern Ireland. A key figure in the Peace Process and one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement, John Hume was joint recipient, with David Trimble, of the Nobel Peace Prize 1998.

The other recipients of honorary degrees are:

Robert Fisk Litt.D. (Doctor in Letters)

Prominent journalist and Middle East Correspondent for The Independent in the UK, Robert Fisk has over 30 years experience in international reporting which includes 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, the 2003 Invasion of Iraq, the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and Ireland. He is the author not only of countless thought-provoking articles, but also of a number of widely acclaimed, even-handed monographs on the Middle East and Ireland, which provide in-depth political analysis and historical background to current and recent political conflicts, e.g. In time of war: Ireland, Ulster, and the price of neutrality, 1939-1945 (1985) and The great war of civilisation: the conquest of the Middle East (2005).

Dónal Lunny Mus.D. (Doctor in Music)

Famous Irish musician and producer, who has had a pioneering influence on the development of Irish traditional music over the last 40 years. He was instrumental in driving the revival of Irish music since the late sixties. Founding member of Emmet Spiceland, Planxty, The Bothy Band and Moving Hearts, he has recorded over 50 and produced over 100 albums. Dónal Lunny has represented Ireland on many occasions through his music and has also been very supportive of human rights issues throughout the island of Ireland.

Melissa Webb LL.D. (Doctor in Laws)

Governor of the Adelaide and Meath Hospital and the National Children’s Hospital in Tallaght, Governor of the Rotunda Hospital, Director of the National Children’s Hospital Foundation Board and former President of the Irish Federation of University Women. With remarkable energy, drive and commitment, Melissa Webb has been a major influence in the development of Dublin hospitals and has championed countless fundraising initiatives for the hospital services. She also had a key role in the development of Trinity’s School of Nursing.


Honorary Degree recipients Robert Redford and Melissa Webb.