Trinity College Alumni Awards 2008

Posted on: 04 November 2008

Renowned Irish author William Trevor and former Senator Dr Mary Henry were among four recipients of this year’s Alumni Awards which were presented on October 30th last. The other awardees were RTÉ’s Morning Ireland presenter Áine Lawlor, and one of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs, Barry O’Callaghan, Chairman of Education Media and Publishing Group (EMPG).

Selected by a committee chaired by Dr Thomas Mitchell, the alumni were presented with awards in recognition of achievements in their respective fields and the contribution they have made in Ireland and internationally.

William Trevor
During a writing career spanning over forty years William Trevor has written thirty books. His early novel The Old Boys (1964) was winner of the Hawthornden Prize, while The Children of Dynmouth (1976) and Fools of Fortune (1983) both won the Whitbread Novel Award. William is the author of several collections of short stories including The Day We Got Drunk on Cake (1967) and Beyond the Pale (1981). The Hill Bachelors (2000) won both the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award for Short Stories and the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Fiction in 2001. The Story of Lucy Gault (2002) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Among his many honours, William Trevor was awarded an honorary KBE in 2002 for his services to literature and the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award in Irish Literature in 2008. Dr. William Trevor graduated from Trinity with a B.A. in 1950 and was honoured with a Doctor in Letters from the College in 1986.

Mary Henry
Former Independent Senator Dr Mary Henry is currently Chair of the TCD Association and Trust and a Trinity Foundation board member. As a Senator (1993 – 2007), Mary was especially passionate about medical and social issues; focusing on improving health care, especially for women, and encouraging women doctors to continue their professional careers. Mary sits on several prestigious boards in the healthcare sector, including the boards of the Rotunda and Peamount hospitals. With a long term interest in the Irish justice system, Mary served as the first Chairperson of the Irish Penal Reform Trust and currently serves on the Commission for Restorative Justice. She is also a patron of One Family, the organisation for lone parents and their families. Dr Mary Henry graduated with a M.A., M.B. from Trinity in 1963.

Áine Lawlor
Áine Lawlor joined RTÉin 1984 as a trainee journalist, working on a number of radio and television programmes before becoming a reporter/presenter in 1988. She has worked on The Pat Kenny Show, Today at 5, RTÉ 2fm News and a variety of television programmes, including The Nature of Things, Tuesday File and as narrator for the highly-acclaimed series on clerical sexual abuse in Irish institutions, States of Fear. She joined the Morning Ireland team in 1996 is now one of RTÉ’s most seasoned broadcasters as well as one of Ireland’s most recognised voices. Áine’s interest in current affairs was encouraged by her experiences as a student in Trinity. While at the University, Áine was actively engaged in student life and was President of the Students’ Union. Áine Lawlor graduated with a B.A. from Trinity in 1982.

Barry O’Callaghan
One of Ireland’s most successful international entrepreneurs, Barry O’Callaghan, is Chairman and the largest shareholder of Education Media and Publishing Group (EMPG).  On graduating with a law degree from Trinity, Barry was an investment banker in London, New York and Hong Kong initially with Morgan Stanley and later with Credit Suisse.  In 1999 he became CEO of Riverdeep, which under his leadership became a leading global publisher of interactive products for the education industry with major operations in the US, Ireland, UK, China and the Middle East.  Barry took the company public on the NASDAQ and Irish Stock Exchanges in 2000 and also managed the subsequent acquisition and integration of seven leading educational companies. In 2003, Barry became the majority shareholder of Riverdeep, which merged with Houghton Mifflin and Harcourt in the second and fourth largest transactions in Irish corporate history to create the largest school publisher in the world. Barry O’Callaghan graduated with a LL.B. from Trinity in 1991.