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Renowned actor Carrie Crowley and pioneering biomedical engineer, Prof. Annraoi de Paor graciously accepted honorary doctorates from South East Technological University (SETU) in their home county today (Friday).

Five distinguished individuals were chosen to receive inaugural honorary doctorates from SETU. Proud Muintir na Déise, Carrie and Annraoi were bestowed with the prestigious degrees at the final conferring ceremony at SETU’s Waterford campus this afternoon. 

Meanwhile, Irish academic and politician, Dr Maurice Manning was the first to receive an honorary doctorate from SETU at the University’s Carlow campus on Tuesday.  

Awards will be bestowed on internationally acclaimed writer Claire Keegan and on Irish academic, and career diplomat and former Irish ambassador to the USA, Daniel Mulhall this coming January.  

Beaming smile

With a beaming smile, Carrie Crowley took the stage this afternoon at SETU Arena to receive her award. Carrie has dedicated her honorary doctorate to the memory of her beloved late parents with a “very happy heart”. 

A familiar face on our screens, Carrie received global acclaim when feature film An Cailín Ciúin, which had the longest run of any film in the IFI, was shortlisted in the 2022 foreign film category of the Oscars. Carrie was also nominated for Best Supporting actress in that year’s IFTAs for her portrayal of Eibhlín Cinnsealach in An Cailín Ciúin.   

Carrie also worked on a variety of drama series, most recently playing Mairéad in Smother, Cathy in SisterS, Veronica Sloan in Obituary and the yet to be seen Valhalla 3 in which she plays Hilde and Hope Street 3 where she plays newcomer Assumpta Kozlowska. 

Over the years, Carrie has also voiced a varied line of documentaries and TV series covering topics from mental illness to hotel customers and staff and their idiosyncrasies.   

In a previous life, she worked as a presenter on both radio and television and sang in Waterford based close harmony band – Miss Brown To You – with Jane O’ Brien Moran and Emer Powell.  

Despite her glowing and successful career in the spotlight, Carrie has always held a special place for Waterford in her heart. “It was such a fantastic place to grow up and to evolve into the adult I now am. Clean seas, glorious mountains, magical theatre, and music everywhere you turned. What wasn’t there to love about it,” she said.  

Speaking about award, Carrie said, “As a very proud Déiseach, I am delighted to receive this honorary doctorate from SETU. No matter where I have found myself living or working through the years Waterford has always been home- home, the true place of belonging.  

“To receive the doctorate on the 22nd anniversary of my father Con’s death makes me swell with pride for both him and our wonderful mother Nodlaig, who died less than a year after him. They were stunning parents and my sister Brid and I often speak about our good fortune in having had them to guide us, but also to give us a great sense of freedom and security in the world. Ní bheidh a leithéidí arís ann,” said Carrie.  

Greatest joys 

For Prof. de Paor being bestowed with an honorary degree in his “beloved native city” marks a special milestone in his life.  

Prof. de Paor was born in Waterford city on 5 August 1940. “Although I have been an exile from the Deise for most of my life, I have kept in touch as an avid follower of Waterford hurling and soccer, and as a frequent visitor to the Waterford Gaeltacht at Rinn O gCuanach.  

“Indeed, I directed the summer school, Daonscoil na Mumhan, there for many years and am still Uachtaran. As far as possible my life revolves around the Deise,” he said. 

An Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at UCD, Prof. de Paor is regarded as the pioneer of biomedical Engineering in Ireland, along with being a humanitarian and a scholar.  

“I got my BE degree through UCD in 1961, my MS from the University of California in January 1963, and my PhD and DSc degrees through UCD in 1967 and 1974.” 

“I ran for Ireland in the 400m hurdles in 1961, as a member of Clonliffe Harriers. I have done research and published widely in Control Theory, Renewable Energy and Biomedical Engineering and am still active in those areas. Getting a degree in my own beloved native city is one of the greatest joys of my life,” said Prof. de Paor. 

SETU is the first TU to bestow honorary doctorate awards. By conferring an honorary doctorate, the university acknowledges an individual’s exceptional contribution to society, and that the individual’s endeavours exemplify the values SETU wishes to promote.  

It recognises the person’s exceptional achievements that have shaped society through the arts and sciences, culture, advocacy, social activity, sport, business, or other contributions.