University of Limerick honour for acclaimed artist Brian O’Doherty

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Brian O’Doherty, pictured with his wife Barbara Novak, at he was conferred with an honorary doctorate at the University of Limerick Picture: Sean Curtin True Media

Brian O’Doherty, pictured with his wife Barbara Novak, at he was conferred with an honorary doctorate at the University of Limerick Picture: Sean Curtin True Media

IN RECOGNITION of his significant artistic contribution, artist, novelist, critic and dramatist Brian O’Doherty has been conferred with an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick. 

UL’s Dean of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Helen Kelly Holmes, described the conferral as “a great honour” for the university. 

“The Honorary Doctorate Conferring Ceremony gives us an opportunity to express our values as an institution as well as to bask in the reflected glory of a stellar individual,” she said. 

“His work is the embodiment of our institutional values, a nexus of scholarship, creativity, conscience and disruption at the intersection of many disciplines.” 

Brian O’Doherty left Ireland in the 1950s after completing his medical degree, going on to become a leading figure in the visual and literary arts. 

The internationally acclaimed artist was nominated for a Booker prize for his novel ‘The Deposition of Father McGreevy’ and his paintings have been acknowledged in five retrospective exhibitions in Washington D.C., New York, Ohio, Derry and Dublin.

In 1972, he changed his name to Patrick Ireland, in response to the Bloody Sunday killing of thirteen unarmed citizens of Derry. Thirty-six years later, following the establishment of power sharing in Northern Ireland, a choreographed ‘funeral’ was held for Patrick Ireland at the Irish Museum of Modern Art.