The first Honorary Fellowship of Dublin Institute of Technology was awarded to Mr. Michael O'Halloran on Saturday during the Graduation Ceremonies for the Faculty of Tourism and Food.

Mr. Michael O'Halloran and Professor Brian Norton, President of DIT

The Award of Honorary Fellowship was instituted by the Academic Council and Governing Body of DIT, 'to be conferred only on those who have rendered exceptional service to the Institute. Nominations for the award are based on 'conspicuous continued involvement' in activities leading to the development of the Institute'.

Mr. O'Halloran, who is the longest-serving member of DIT's Governing Body, first became a member of the CDVEC in 1979 and was immediately appointed to the then DIT Governing Body. At that time each of theconstituent colleges of DIT had their own College Councils and Michael O'Halloran chaired both the Kevin Street College of Technology Council and that of COMAD, Mountjoy Square. He also served on the College of Catering council in Cathal Brugha Street. Since the establishment of DIT as an autonomous institution in 1992, Mr. O'Halloran has served on the Governing Body.

The oration, which was read by Mr. Michael Mulvey, Director of the Faculty of Tourism and Food, said that Mr. O'Halloran's association with the Institute has spanned more than fifty years, from his school days in Bolton Street, to his apprenticeship in the School of Bakery in Kevin Street, to his present day role as a Member of the Governing Body, and the Award was conferred for his significant contribution to the development of the Dublin Institute of Technology.


A Chathaoirligh agus a Bhaill na hInstitiúide, tá sé d'onóir agam Michael O'Halloran a chur in aithne daoibh.

Michael O'Halloran's lifestory is one of outstanding public service and volunteerism - as a trade union activist, as an elected public representative, as the first citizen of his native city, as an advocate for education and lifelong learning, and most recently as an energetic spokesperson on issues affecting older people through the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, he has made a significant contribution to Irish society.

Michael's involvement with Dublin Institute of Technology has spanned over half a century - from 1951, when he attended what was known as `the Bolton Street day school' until his present role as the longest serving member of the DIT Governing Body.

On leaving school, Michael went on to an apprenticeship at the Bakery School in Kevin Street - and no doubt he will be pleased that some of his successors from that very school will be conferred here today.  Working in the famous Bolands Mill on Grand Canal Street, Michael became active in the trade union movement and remained involved throughout his career - not only in his own union, but also in the Irish Congress of Trade Unions where as Education and Training Officer he could pursue his passion for equality of educational opportunities for all.  

Michael has been closely involved with the City of Dublin VEC and with Dublin Institute of Technology for twenty-five years.  He became a member of the VEC in 1979 and was appointed to serve on the Governing Body of the Dublin Institute of Technology.  At that time, each of the constituent colleges of DIT had their own College Councils and Michael chaired both the council of the College of Commerce in Rathmines and subsequently that of the College of Marketing and Design in Mountjoy Square.  He also served on the council of the then College of Catering in Cathal Brugha Street.  As those of you who were involved in the politics of education at that time may know, the role of the College Council was absolutely vital in terms of securing funding and resources and having an advocate such as Michael on your side was regarded as a significant advantage! 

Since the establishment of DIT as an autonomous institution in 1992, Michael has served on the Governing Body with distinction and commitment and the Institute is greatly appreciative of his continuing interest in its development.

In addition to his role in education in Dublin, Michael has also enjoyed a long career as an elected public representative and served on Dublin City Council for many years - indeed in that capacity he attained what must be the ultimate honour for a Dublin man when he was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin in 1984. 

Although no longer a Councillor, Michael continues to contribute to the Council's development plans for the city through its Housing, Social and Community Affairs Committee.  In this latter role, he represents the Irish Senior Citizens' Parliament, of which he is the Chief Executive Officer.  This organization focuses on issues concerning older people in society and seeks to change attitudes and policies that adversely affect the people they represent.  In addition to lobbying at national level, the Parliament is also affiliated to AGE - the European Older People's Platform, and through this platform seeks to influence policy-making at European level also.  As a result of his effective advocacy on behalf of older people, Michael has made history by becoming the first senior citizen to be appointed to the Pensions Board by the Minister for Social Affairs, Community and Family Affairs.

Michael O'Halloran's career to date can best be described as a lifetime devoted to public service.  Indeed, even in accepting to be conferred with this Honorary Fellowship today, he has made it clear that he does so on behalf of all those involved in volunteerism and public service in Irish life. 

The Dublin Institute of Technology is privileged to honour the exceptional contribution of Michael O'Halloran for his significant public service and for his enormous contribution to the development and growth of the Institute, and to award him this Honorary Fellowship.

President, members of the Institute, I present to you Michael O'Halloran.

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