President of Ireland to receive honorary doctorate from University of Manchester

President of Ireland to receive honorary doctorate from University of Manchester

IRELAND’S President Michael D Higgins will be conferred with an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester today.

Later this evening, President Higgins will be conferred with the Degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa by the Chancellor of the University of Manchester, Nazir Afzal.

The honour is in recognition of “his extensive and significant contributions to literature and public life”.

The citation will be read by Professor John McAuliffe, Reader in Modern Literature and Creative Writing and Co-Director of the New Writing Centre at the University.

President Higgins (C) pictured with Prince Philip at Windsor Castle during his state visit to the UK in 2014

The President's visit to England coincides with the tenth anniversary of his State Visit to the UK which took place in April 2014.

It also marks the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the University of Manchester in 1824.

President Higgins has a strong personal connection with the University, having undertaken post-graduate studies there from 1968 to 1971.

Following today's conferral ceremony a dinner will be held in the President’s honour at the University's Whitworth Art Gallery.

Mr Higgins and the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, will be among the attendees.

Tomorrow’s the President wil give the first lecture of the new John Kennedy Lecture Series, which will run for the next five years as part of the University’s School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

The title of Mr Higgins lecture is ‘Of the consciousness our times need in responding to interacting crises and the role of Universities as spaces of discourse in facilitating it’, his office has confirmed.

“Over the course of his visit, President Higgins will take the opportunity of meeting with a number of contacts in universities and other institutions in Manchester, including some of those he previously collaborated with on academic projects,” his office added.

The President is also expected to meet with members of the Irish community while in the city.