South East Technological University (SETU) is set to become the first TU to bestow honorary doctorate awards. Five distinguished individuals have been selected after a rigorous process of nomination by staff and students, followed by final selection by the SETU Governing Body. 

By conferring an honorary doctorate, the university acknowledges an individual’s exceptional contribution to society, and that the individual’s endeavours exemplify the values SETU wishes to promote.   

The purpose of a SETU Honorary Doctorate is to recognise an individual’s exceptional achievements that have shaped society through the arts and sciences, culture, advocacy, social activity, sport, business, or other contributions.  

Honorary doctorates are to be conferred on renowned actress Carrie Crowley, pioneering biomedical engineer, Annraoi de Paor, internationally acclaimed writer Claire Keegan, Irish academic and former politician Maurice Manning, and career diplomat and former Irish ambassador to the USA, Daniel Mulhall. 

SETU Chancellor and Chairperson of the SETU Governing Body, Professor Patrick Prendergast said, “As the only university in the south east, it is SETU’s wish to acclaim excellence and to acknowledge and celebrate outstanding achievement. 

“It is SETU's steadfast ambition to show how individuals from our region make an impact nationally and globally. This is reflected in the calibre of candidates approved by the Governing Body for Honorary Doctorates.” 

Through this honorary degree, SETU acknowledges Carrie Crowley's contribution to Irish cultural life through her work as a broadcaster and actor, as a fervent advocate of the Irish language, and, most recently, for her role in the Oscar-nominated film An Cailín Ciúin. 

Proud Waterford native and a keen follower of Waterford hurling and soccer, Annraoi de Paor is an Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCD. Mr de Paor is regarded as the pioneer of biomedical Engineering in Ireland, along with being a humanitarian and a scholar. 

Claire Keegan is a writer and is internationally recognised for a body of literary work of great beauty and sympathy. Born in Co. Wicklow and living now in Co. Wexford, she often draws inspiration from the people and places of the south east. 

Former politician Maurice Manning from Co Carlow was nominated for his substantial contributions to the Oireachtas for 21 years, for his roles as president of the Irish Human Rights Commission and as Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on the Decade of Centenaries, and for his leadership as Chancellor of the National University of Ireland.  

Daniel Mulhall has represented his country with distinction for over 40 years in the Irish diplomatic service. The Waterford man served as Irish ambassador to the United States of America until recently and has a distinguished reputation as an author and a historian. 

“In recognising all the nominees for their outstanding contribution to society, we are delighted to announce that an honorary degree will be received by the candidates at the conferring of awards ceremonies over two sessions in four weeks' time and in January of next year,” Prof Prendergast stated. 

Congratulating the candidates, President of SETU, Professor Veronica Campbell said the conferring of an honorary degree is the greatest and most prestigious accolade that a university can bestow on a person.  

“These awards are part of SETU’s aim to place education, creativity, and ability at the heart of the region to facilitate economic, social, and cultural development. It also reflects our ambitions to establish SETU as a leading technological university on a European and global scale. As SETU President I wish to congratulate the five nominees on the announcement of their impending conferring,” Professor Campbell said.