Friday 2 December 2016

The name's O'Connell…Dr Paul O'Connell – Irish rugby legend set for honorary doctorate

Published 28/10/2015 | 07:57

Paul O'Connell's World Cup and Ireland Test career ended by injury
Paul O'Connell's World Cup and Ireland Test career ended by injury

It has been a difficult fortnight for Paul O'Connell, but next week will provide some positivity with the news that the Irish rugby legend will be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick.

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The former Munster man, who signed for French kingpins Toulon at the end of the last campaign, could only helplessly watch on as his Irish team-mates made disappointing World Cup exit at the hands of Argentina at the quarter-final stage.

O'Connell's absence, along with fellow injury victims Peter O'Mahony, Jared Payne and Johnny Sexton had a significant impact on Joe Schmidt's quest to lead Ireland to a first ever semi-final appearance, with the Irish captain reduced to the role of a spectator as a result of a hamstring injury picked up in the bruising pool victory over France and is expected to be sidelined for up to five months.

Currently back home in Limerick as he continues his rehabilitation from injury, The Examiner reports that the towering Limerick man will add the doctorate to his decorated CV at the event next week.

A living legend in his native city, O'Connell has already been conferred with the Freedom of Limerick City and a statue of the lock, being lifted by John Hayes and Donncha O'Callaghan during the historic England match at Croke Park in 2007, is on display at the departures lounge at Shannon Airport.

The paper reports that University of Limerick is "delighted and proud" to have the sporting legend enrolled as an honorary doctor.

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