Thursday 21 March 2019

Protests over honorary role at Maynooth

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

The National University of Ireland Maynooth has defended the appointment of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, as an honorary professor, in the wake of new criticism.

Students at NUI Maynooth have presented a petition to the university objecting to the appointment of Mr Ahern as Honorary Adjunct Professor to the School of Business and Law.

The students said the decision to award Bertie Ahern such a title at this time was disgraceful.

They claim the economic policies enacted by Mr Ahern, during his time as Taoiseach, directly precipitated the current economic crisis.

They added that history would view Mr Ahern in the same light as other Fianna Fail figures, such as Ray Burke and Charles Haughey.

The student petition came on the heels of a letter of protest against the appointment, signed by 36 academics.

NUI Maynooth stated yesterday that the former Taoiseach was one of a number of individuals, including the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces and Chief Executive of the Labour Relations Commission, who had been invited to work, for the benefit of students, in the development of a Centre for Mediation and Conflict Intervention because of their personal experience in this area.

"This appointment, which is unpaid, was approved by both the University's Professorial Board, and Academic Council which contains over 60 senior academics of the University.

"It is entirely appropriate for NUI Maynooth to acknowledge the former Taoiseach's mediation skills and benefit from his unique experience in the context of the work he did, in particular on the Nice Treaty and in bringing peace to Northern Ireland."

Irish Independent

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