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Queen’s University Belfast announces Honorary Professorships

Queen’s University Belfast has awarded former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern an Honorary Professorship in Peace Studies at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

Mr Ahern served as Taoiseach from 1997 – 2008 and played a significant role in the negotiations that led to the signing of the Belfast / Good Friday Agreement. He also helped to negotiate the return of devolution to Northern Ireland in 2007.

In his role as Honorary Professor, Mr Ahern will take part in workshops and masterclasses with students and will participate in events at the University. 

Mr Ahern will deliver his first lecture -- the Harri Holkeri Lecture -- on 21 May, when he will reflect on ‘Peace Process – In light of Brexit Issues’.

This annual lecture recognises the achievements of former Prime Minister of Finland, the late Harri Holkeri, who used his skills as negotiator and consensus-builder to facilitate arms decommissioning and multi-party peace talks in Northern Ireland.

In response to the appointment, Professor Hastings Donnan, Director of the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, said: “Queen’s is delighted to welcome Bertie Ahern as an Honorary Professor at the University”.

“Bertie Ahern has been an advocate and supporter of the Mitchell Institute and the University for many years and his political experience will be an asset to both teaching and research at Queen’s. We look forward very much to his contribution over the next three years.”

Bertie Ahern commented: “I am privileged to accept this Honorary Professorship in Peace Studies at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. I have enjoyed working with Queen’s University since I received my honorary doctorate in 2008.”

Anne Connolly OBE, Chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, and Dr Michael Maguire, Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, have also been awarded an Honorary Professorship at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

Professor D MacFarlane from Monash University, Australia, has been awarded an Honorary Professorship in the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Professor MacFarlane is a world-leading expert in using ionic liquids for electrochemistry, green chemistry, solar cells, batteries and biotechnology.

A full list of new Honorary titles is below:

  • Professor S Fang, Queen’s Management School
  • Mr B Ahern, Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
  • Ms A Connolly, Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
  • Dr M Maguire, Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
  • Professor D MacFarlane, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  • Professor A Hibbert, School of Mathematics and Physics
  • Professor L Siu, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences
  • Professor R Wilson, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences