CORK, Ireland – U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula was among four men given the highest honor conferred by University College Cork during ceremonies Friday.
Molloy received an honorary doctorate in literature, arts and laws alongside Graham Norton, (broadcaster and comedian), Fergal Keane (Irish author, wartime journalist and BBC broadcaster) and Dermot O’Mahoney (Irish businessman).
The conferring ceremony was held in the Aula Maxima of University College Cork and was presided over by President Michael Murphy.
“On behalf of UCC, I am delighted to acknowledge the absolute passion, dedication and talent of the graduates today and to confer upon them the highest honor of our university,” said Murphy. “Each of the graduates today has achieved enormous success in their fields, and they have done so while remaining true to their roots. We wanted to recognize their steadfast commitment to the pursuit of excellence and to publicly acknowledge their achievements.”
Norton, originally from Cork and an alumnus of UCC, is one of the world’s most recognized entertainment personalities. Perhaps best known for the “The Graham Norton Show,” the seven-time BAFTA Award winner was visibly moved to receive his honorary doctorate at UCC in the presence of his mother, Rhoda Walker, and his sister Paula Walker.
Irish writer, broadcaster and BBC correspondent Keane has won numerous awards for his coverage of conflict, including a BAFTA, the Royal Television Society Journalist of the Year, Sony Radio Journalist of the Year as well as awards from Amnesty International, the James Cameron Prize and the Index on Censorship Prize for Outstanding Commitment to Journalistic Integrity. Having grown up in Cork and Dublin, Keane recently returned from the Middle East to attend the conferring ceremony in his hometown of Cork.
Judge Molloy was recognized as “a leading reformer in judicial practice in the United States, having adjudicated on significant environmental rights cases involving cleanup of polluted sites and hunting practices,” according to the university.
“An Irish-American, the judge has a strong personal interest in his Irish heritage and has forged strong links with UCC’s Law and Irish program, sharing his legal expertise with Irish students and driving a valued student exchange program with the University of Montana and University of Montana School of Law,” UCC said in a news release.
Leading Irish businessman O’Mahoney has been active in the commercial, educational and voluntary sector for over 50 years. He is a director of City Life Wealth Advisors, and served as Chairman of the Port of Cork for a decade, as well as being a member and former Chairman of Cork Harbour Commissioners. His voluntary activities include work with the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind and acting as Chairman of the Hope Foundation, which works with the street children of Calcutta.