Artist and Activist honoured by DIT

Robert Ballagh conferred in St. Patrick?s Cathedral

16th November 2010

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Professor Brian Norton with Dr. Robert Ballagh at his DIT conferring

At a conferring ceremony for graduates of Engineering and Built Environment, DIT conferred artist and activist Robert Ballagh with an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his contribution to art and society over many decades.  Introducing him to the President, Dr. Mike Murphy read a brief citation recalling some of Robert Ballagh?s many achievements, and also his years studying architecture at DIT in Bolton Street.  The President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton said ?In DIT, honorary awards are conferred on a small number of individuals who have made an exceptional contribution in their field.  Robert Ballagh is not only one of our most eminent artists, but also someone who has made art part of public discourse - something which is not elitist but concerns all of us.  We are proud that his early education in architecture in DIT played a part in his later career, and it is a very great pleasure to welcome him back today.? 

Among the 600 graduates who were conferred during two ceremonies at St. Patrick?s Cathedral, were architects and architectural technologists; spatial planners and environmental managers; mechanical and transport engineers; and specialists in sustainable development; energy management; communications engineers; and electrical services engineers.  Their awards ranged from Higher Certificate to PhD, and included among the graduates were many people who had returned to education to take pursue higher qualifications.  Professor Norton paid special tribute to the students of any nationalities who had come to DIT to study, for many in a language that was not their mother tongue.  ?Being one of the smallest, most open economies in Europe, it is critical that our graduates have developed an understanding of, and empathy with, other cultures - not only for those who pursue careers abroad, but also for those of us working here in Ireland.  Having diversity among our student body helps students and colleagues to develop that understanding,? he said.

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Dr. Robert Ballagh receiving his honourary doctorate from DIT

In his address the President told the graduates that ?It is difficult to get away from the reality of the economic issues facing us, some of which are unprecedented, and this is not a time for platitudes.  However, we must remember that the value of our human capital has always outweighed our financial worth.  This generation is the most highly educated in our history and the range of qualifications skills and expertise among our graduates here in this magnificent cathedral is proof that this country can build for the future.?  And he said, ?As a society we have reached a turning point.  It is graduates like you who can be the change-makers ? you can bring the creativity, energy and fresh thinking that will enable us to re-imagine the way we live our lives, and you can play a crucial role in re-shaping our economy.? 

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Professor Brian Norton with Séamus Greene, who was conferred with an Honorary Masters Award from DIT

At the morning ceremony for graduates of Electrical Engineering Systems and of Electronic and Communications Engineering, former colleague Séamus Greene was conferred with an Honorary Masters Award.  Dr. Mike Murphy presented Séamus for the award and in the citation outlined aspects of his long career spanning over 49 years in the CDVEC and in DIT, and highlighting his commitment to continually pursuing further education and qualifications.   The President welcomed Séamus and his family to the ceremony.  He said ?Séamus made a very significant contribution, supporting both students and colleagues throughout his extraordinarily long career in DIT.  I knew him best in his capacity as a staff representative on Governing Body, a role he carried out with complete integrity.  On behalf of all your former colleagues, I congratulate you once again and I am delighted to welcome your family to this ceremony.?

Saturday was the fourth day of conferring for the DIT class of 2010.  The final ceremonies will take place on November 20th with the conferring of over a thousand graduates of business.

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