Annual prize-giving ceremony
The Aula Maxima of University College Cork was festooned with flowers and banners for the annual School of History prize-giving awards held on Tuesday 21 February 2012. Many of those who received prizes this year had done so in previous years. Head of School Prof Geoffrey Roberts reminded family, friends, and members of staff assembled that the awards celebrated the achievements of the brightest and the best in the fields of History and European Studies.
This annual event provides an opportunity to acknowledge the generosity of the donors and representatives of the families of donors of various prizes which were awarded – the John A. Murphy Prize in Irish History, the John B. O’Brien Annual Prize in History, the Leonora Hanrahan Prize in History, the James and Mary Hogan Prize in History and the Michael Joseph McEnery Memorial Scholarship. Professor Roberts introduced the Dermot Keogh Prize in Irish History in honour of Professor Keogh, formerly head of the Department of History in UCC, for his outstanding contribution to Irish historical studies. All of the prizes carry considerable prestige, as well as providing much-appreciated financial assistance to History students.
Prof Roberts also acknowledged the achievement of two other UCC History students who were awarded National University of Ireland Travelling Studentships in the Humanities and the Social Sciences. It was noted that the winner of the John A. Murphy Prize in Irish History was also awarded a National University of Ireland Mansion House Fund Scholarship.
The ceremony was followed by an address by Emeritus Professor John A. Murphy entitled, "The Queen and the Statue: UCC embraces its past". This focused on the circumstances surrounding his presentation to HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on the history of the statue of Queen Victoria, carved to decorate the former Queen's College Cork in 1849, during the couple's state visit to Ireland last May. Prof Murphy interpreted the royal visit as profoundly symbolic of a renewed openness towards acknowledging the variegated traces of a complex yet interconnected history shared by Britain and Ireland. History, he said, should not be interpreted as a catalogue of mutual grievances, but rather as an impartial record of the past. In the words of the philosopher George Santayana, a civilised people does not tear out the pages of its history, it simply turns them over.
The award recipients were as follows: