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2014 Press Releases

RIA honour for Prof Maguire

30 May 2014

UCC Professor Anita Maguire has been honoured with admission to the Royal Irish Academy. She joins 482 distinguished Members of the Academy.

Professor Maguire, who is Vice President for Research and Innovation, UCC is also Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and School of Pharmacy. Her research interests include organosulfur and a-diazoketone chemistry, asymmetric transition metal catalysis for C-H insertion and sulfur oxidation, use of biocatalysis in stereoselective synthesis, and the design and synthesis of biologically active compounds.

She was admitted to the Royal Irish Academy along with eleven other new members at a ceremony on the 30th of May 2014 and is now entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after her name. 

Included among those admitted are Morgan Kelly, the economist who predicted the property bubble would burst, Geraldine Byrne Nason, the former Secretary General at the Department of the Taoiseach and one of Ireland’s most distinguished diplomats and civil servants, and Rose Anne Kenny the founder of the Trinity Ageing Research Centre and the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.

At the ceremony, Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy said:

"There is a major onus on researchers to ensure that Europe remains a world leader in the twentieth first century. But the emphasis on research that yields a return, in the form of patents, company formation or new drugs, tends to deny researchers the necessary breathing-space, the time to reflect, to allow for the wrong turns, the brilliant idea that collapses, or the unexpected lines of inquiry that might ultimately deliver something different to the original proposal, but something that is much more exciting."

He continued: "When the Royal Irish Academy elects members, it does so, on the basis of a candidate’s publications and research record – the sole criterion is quality.  This research may help in the treatment of disease, or it may enhance our understanding of a past civilisation.  Members of the Academy should not shirk from their responsibility to tell people that basic research is important and that government support for fundamental research is a hallmark of a civilised society." 

For 229 years membership of the Royal Irish Academy has been keenly competed for, as it is the highest academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of academic achievement. 

There are currently 482 Members of the Academy including President Michael D. Higgins; Susan Denham (Chief Justice); Luke O’Neill (TCD) One of the world's foremost authorities in the  innate immune system; Des Higgins (UCD) an Irish biochemist who holds the unusual distinction of being the most cited computer scientist in the world;  Peter Heffernan (CEO, Marine Institute), Gerry Boyle (Director, Teagasc); TK Whittaker (public servant), Frances Ruane (Director of ESRI), Maurice Manning (NUI Chancellor), Patrick Honohan (Governor of the Central Bank), and writer and cartographer Tim Robinson.

New Members in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Professor Ciaran Brady (TCD); Ms Geraldine Byrne Nason(Dept. Foreign Affairs); Professor Daniel Carey (NUIG); Dr Iseult Honohan (UCD); Dr Nuala C Johnson(QUB); Professor Morgan Kelly(UCD); Mr Stephen Kingon (QUB)

New members in the Sciences

Professor Andrew Bowie (TCD); Professor Dermot Diamond(DCU); Professor Padraic Fallon (TCD); Professor Rose Anne Kenny(TCD); Professor Anita R. Maguire(UCC); Professor Richard O'Kennedy(DCU); Professor Mani Ramaswami (TCD)

Honorary Member

Professor Adrian Raftery (University of Washington)

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