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Saturday 18 November 2017

Thousands turn out to see Clinton honoured for peace process role

Former president Bill Clinton after receiving a doctorate from DCU. Photo: Frank McGrath
Former president Bill Clinton after receiving a doctorate from DCU. Photo: Frank McGrath
Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

More than 1,000 people were at The Helix at Dublin City University (DCU) to see former US president Bill Clinton being awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his contribution to the peace process.

He was given the highest honour that DCU can bestow, along with Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, who is well-known for her work with the poor and the homeless, and leading businessman Martin Naughton, from Dundalk, Co Louth.

The three recipients were awarded a Doctor of Philosophy for their contribution to society.

Speaking about the recipients at the high-profile conferring ceremony, Dr Martin McAleese, chancellor of DCU, said: "There is no way of successfully measuring what Ireland owes each of them, but we do know that we are in their debt."

After he signed the roll of honour, Mr Clinton (73) made an impassioned speech lasting more than 20 minutes before an audience that included former President Mary McAleese, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and leading businessman Denis O'Brien.

"Now given the economic inequalities and the rapid pace of social change, and all the upheaval that's going on, all over the world and here in Europe, people are reassessing whether what we have in common is more important than our differences.

"A lot of people beg to differ. That's really what the Brexit vote's all about."

He said he could fill the auditorium with the scientific evidence that diverse groups make better decisions.

Irish Independent

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