Disability World
A bimonthly web-zine of international disability news and views • Issue no. 24 June-August 2004

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U.S. Disability Rights Leader Awarded Honorary Doctorate from Ireland

photograph of Lex Friden wearing doctoral gown after receiving honorary doctorateLex Frieden was awarded an honorary doctorate in laws (LL.D.) by the National University of Ireland (NUI) at a conferring ceremony in Galway, Ireland on June 25, 2004. Degrees were also conferred upon Professors Roy Foster, Philippe Kirsch and John Mannion.

NUI Galway is renowned for its research centers of excellence in the areas of human rights and humanities. The honorees were carefully considered and selected for conferring because of their significant contributions to society in the area of human rights or through their scholarly contributions to the area of humanities.

In recognizing the accomplishments and contributions that each individual has made to society during their lifetime, The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said:

"Each of these individuals in their own way, has made a significant contribution to society and to altering and enhancing the lives of many. This has been achieved through their work, views, beliefs and unfaltering commitment which has enabled them to achieve personal objectives which have been for the benefit of others. NUI Galway is a university which has long supported ideals which promote research excellence, both in the areas of Human Rights and Historical studies and for this reason, we are proud today to honor the work of all of these individuals."

Lex Frieden, Chairperson of the US National Council on Disability and senior vice-president at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) in Houston, Texas, was instrumental in drafting the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act and he is now at the forefront of the new United Nations treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities. Roy Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish history at Oxford University and has a highly distinguished record in historical scholarship.

Judge Philippe Kirsch is the first president of the International Criminal Court. Established in 2003, the creation of the International Criminal Court is perhaps the most important new international organization to be established since the United Nations. John Mannion of St. John's Memorial University, Newfoundland, has made it his life's work to document and study all aspects of the Irish migration to Newfoundland.

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