BRIAN Cody, Kilkenny’s senior hurling team manager is to receive an honorary doctorate from University College Cork (UCC). The conferring ceremony will be held on September 7, two days before Kilkenny take on Galway in the All Ireland final in Croke park. The event is the latest in a series of events marking UCC’s centenary of sport, UCC Sport 1911-2011. The university decided to give Mr Cody the doctorate in recognition of his outstanding contribution to sport and hurling in particular. Under his management, the Kilkenny hurling team has won 8 All-Ireland titles, 11 Leinster titles and 4 National League titles and have been an unstoppable force in the hurling world. “As the longest serving manager in the game, Cody has transformed hurling coaching and management, and continues to be a driving force in hurling excellence in Ireland,” a press statement from UCC said.
Former Ireland and Manchester United soccer player, Denis Irwin, will also be honoured by UCC for his outstanding professional soccer career, which saw him capped 56 times for Ireland, and awarded with Premiership Medals (7), UEFA Champions League Medal and FA Cups (3).
With a Bachelor of Arts and Masters degree in Business Economics from UCC already, Ronan O’Gara will be conferred with an honorary doctorate for his contribution to Irish rugby. O’Gara is Ireland’s most capped player and has captained Munster, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions. He is the all-time highest points scorer for both Munster and Ireland.
Mary O’Connor will receive an honorary doctorate for her incredible achievements as both Camogie and Gaelic Football player. One of the most honoured players in the history of the GAA, she has won 7 All-Ireland Camogie medals and 5 All Ireland Ladies Gaelic Football medals, as well as 3 All Star Awards in Camogie and one in Ladies Gaelic Football. Irish hurling legend and Aidan O’Brien, who is widely acknowledged as the greatest horse trainer of his generation will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate from UCC. From Istabraq to Rip van Winkle and Giants Causeway, horses trained by Aidan O’Brien have achieved enormous success at home and abroad, and his commitment to this sport and to Ireland has yielded enormous benefits to the Irish equestrian and equine industry.