Richard Corrigan, internationally renowned chef, and two of Ireland's most eminent women, Eileen O'Mara Walsh and Anna May McHugh, receive Honorary Doctorates at Annual DIT Tourism and Food Graduations

Dublin, 4th November, 2006 - Saturday (4th November) saw students from programmes as diverse as tourism, food safety management, and culinary arts graduate at the Annual DIT Faculty of Tourism and Food graduation ceremonies. Held in St Patrick's Cathedral, the morning and afternoon ceremonies saw hundreds of the graduates' family and friends in attendance. The day's celebrations included the conferring of honorary doctorates on Richard Corrigan, internationally renowned chef; Chairperson of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, Eileen O'Mara Walsh and Anna May McHugh, founding member of the National Ploughing Championship.

Richard Corrigan, a former graduate of DIT, was honoured by the Institute in recognition of his outstanding achievements internationally in the culinary arts and the hospitality industry. According to the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, "Food needs to be interpreted and promoted and it is for his artistry and achievement in those areas that we celebrate Richard Corrigan here today and by accepting this award he also becomes a standard-bearer for DIT graduates who are now starting out on their own careers"'. After mastering his trade in various restaurants and hotels and training, at what was then the DIT College of Catering in Cathal Brugha Street, Richard Corrigan has gone onto achieve international success. He is an award winning Michelin Star chef and patron of Lindsay House, London, counted amongst the capitals most high profile eateries. He is lauded amongst the UK's top critics and amongst other accolades has been crowned the "Irish Chef in London".

Chef and entrepreneur Richard Corrigan with President of DIT Professor Brian Norton in St Patrick's Cathedral.

Eileen O'Mara Walsh was honoured in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the tourism industry. In addition to establishing her own business, O'Mara Travel, which is one of the largest independent travel companies in the country, she was a founding member of the National Tourism Council and the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation. President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, described O'Mara Walsh "as a leading figure in the Irish tourism and travel industry, whose hard-work and ambition has allowed her to emerge as one of the most respected members of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation."

Pictured Left to Right: Eileen O'Mara Walsh, Chairperson of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation and Anna May McHugh founding Member of the National Ploughing Championship.

In presenting Anna May McHugh with her award President Norton credited her as "the major driving force behind the National Ploughing Championship, Ireland's largest event, as well as a national and international showcase for excellence in Ireland's indigenous industries." Anna May McHugh has been Managing Director of the National Ploughing Championship since 1973, and is also a member of the World Ploughing Board. She succeeded in having Ireland chosen as the venue for this year's World Ploughing Championship, coinciding with the 75th national competition, where visitor numbers exceeded all previous records.

Front to back: Eileen O'Mara Walsh and Anna May McHugh pictured outside St Patrick's Cathedral after receiving their Honorary Doctorates.

According to Director of the Faculty of Tourism and Food, Mr Michael Mulvey; "Richard Corrigan, Anna May McHugh and Eileen O'Mara Walsh have built their careers around their interests and passions, and in doing so have not only been very successful but have made an enormous contribution to society."

The orations delivered on all three recipients can be read by clicking on the following links:
Oration - Richard Corrigan
Oration - Anna May McHugh
Oration - Eileen O'Mara Walsh

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