THE President's husband, Dr Martin McAleese (left), said an honorary doctorate awarded to him for his community work was "totally unexpected".
The award was conferred by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) for his work in supporting community activism and development in Ireland.
"I am privileged and very honoured to be a recipient off this award, which was totally unexpected," said Dr McAleese, speaking at DIT's spring graduation ceremony at the weekend.
The qualified dentist and accountant has carried out voluntary projects overseas including Honduras, where he put his dental skills to use to help the poor.
Dr McAleese was accompanied to the ceremony by his family, President Mary McAleese, and their three children.
The McAleese family has been mourning the loss of Brendan McAleese, Dr McAleese's cousin, who was killed in the crash at Cork Airport on February 10.