University of Limerick today conferred Honorary Doctorates of Letters on rock star, humanitarian and activist Sir Bob Geldof and best-selling author Marian Keyes.
The doctorates were presented to Dr Bob Geldof and Dr Marian Keyes as part of the first of UL’s five Winter Conferring ceremonies, which will see 1,715 UL students graduate.
Speaking from the conferring ceremony UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald said ‘Marian Keyes has strong connections with this region. Her mother Mary is from County Clare and her late father Ted was from Limerick City. Marian Keyes was born on St Patrick’s Road Limerick in 1963 and spent the first year of her life here. Marian was a guest interviewee at the 2018 University of Limerick Frank McCourt Creative Writing Festival. She spoke to our own Professor Joseph O’Connor at a sell-out event at UCH last May. The audience were enraptured by her insights into creative writing, Irish Society and the many problems that life throws at us. Marian generously shared her experiences as a writer with our students and the wider public.’
Marian has had a strong commitment to activism, particularly in the realm of gender equality. She donated all of the royalties from her best-selling book Under ‘The Duvet’ to the Irish Simon Community.
Sir Bob Geldof is a humanitarian activist best known for his work with Band-Aid and Live Aid. He has achieved global stardom as a rock singer, songwriter and leader of The Boomtown Rats.
“Bob has lobbied politicians and world leaders of all political hues in his herculean efforts to resolve global inequality and poverty. In 2017, he handed over the entire archive of the Band-Aid Trust to the National Library of Ireland; this will be a major resource for postgraduate students and academic researchers. The study of Peace and Development and of Africa specifically, is a major focus here at the University of Limerick, led by the work of scholars such as Professor Tom Lodge,” said Dr Fitzgerald.
“Like Marian Keyes, Bob was a guest interviewee at the 2017 University of Limerick Frank McCourt Creative Writing Festival. Last May, It was a pleasure to hear him speak in our beautiful concert hall on his passion for Irish poet W.B Yeats. Bob’s television documentary A Fanatic Heart was released in late 2016. It features our own Professor of Creative Writing Joseph O’Connor and includes readings of Yeats’ work by such luminaries as Bono, Van Morrison, Sting, Noel Gallagher and Elvis Costello.”
University of Limerick honorary doctorates are bestowed on individuals who have shown outstanding achievement, nationally or internationally, in the arts, sciences, business, industry, the professions, sport, social service or public service.