IN the week when Limerick was put back on the Google map, the head of the Google Ireland has been honoured with a doctorate by the University of Limerick in a ceremony this week.
Honorary doctorates were awarded to Limerick businessman and head of Google Ireland, John Herlihy; ground-breaking journalist and former editor of the Irish Times, Geraldine Kennedy.
A posthumous award was also presented to the founder of the Willie Clancy Summer School, Muiris Ó Rócháin.
“Today, we honour three exceptional people who have made unique contributions to our country. It is with great pride that we bestow upon these worthy recipients our highest honour and a place in the history of the University of Limerick,” said UL President, Professor Don Barry.
Mr Herlihy, who received a Doctor of Economic Science, is vice president of global advertising operations and head of Google in Ireland.
He was recognised for his achievements in the global technology sector. He has helped build Google’s online sales and operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa while leading a sales and operations team of over 1,100 people working in 45 countries.
He holds a number of non-executive directorships, including Greencore.
The former editor of the Irish Times, Geraldine Kennedy who retired last June after a career spanning nearly four decades, was presented with a Doctor of Letters. “As a journalist, she was a ground-breaking and courageous investigative political reporter, whose primary duty she saw as the advocacy of accountability in public life. As an editor, she continued this work through her support for the journalists whose work she edited, even under the most difficult circumstances. Throughout her long career, Ms Kennedy has made an unrivalled contribution to modern Irish journalism and, through her achievements, to Irish public life.
Muiris Prionsias Ó Rócháin, who passed away last year, was posthumously presented with a Doctor of Letters, for his contribution to local culture, community life, and to Irish traditional music on a national and international scale.
He founded the music school along with five others in 1973, as a memorial to the famous traditional musician.
Attracting hundreds of thousands of musicians, singers and dancers from around the world every year, the school quickly achieved unrivalled success. “Muiris Ó Rócháin stands as a model of selfless social action for the betterment of the cultural life of all who were touched by his sustained and visionary work in the fields of Irish music and language,” said Prof Barry.