News and Views
UCC welcomes Presidential visit
On World Book Day, President of Ireland and President of Malta viewed the Great Book of Ireland.
University College Cork (UCC) welcomed the President of Ireland, Michael D.Higgins, his wife Ms Sabina Higgins, and President of Malta, H.E. Dr George Vella, and his wife Mrs Miriam Vella to the university campus today.
During their visit, President Higgins and President Vella visited the Honan Chapel. Consecrated in 1916, a turbulent year in Irish history, the Honan Chapel is considered a jewel in the crown of twentieth century Irish art and architecture, with its collection including fine examples of the artworks of the Irish Revival, and Irish Arts and Crafts practice. It recently underwent a major renovation.
UCC researchers have provided energy modelling for landmark Irish climate policy, including Ireland’s first low carbon roadmap in 2013, Ireland’s Energy White Paper in 2015, the first Climate Action Plan in 2019, and Ireland’s first carbon budgets in 2022, and President Higgins and President Vella received a presentation from researchers at UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI).
President Higgins and President Vella also met UCC students and Maltese students studying in Cork. “It is an honour to welcome President Higgins, Ms Sabina Higgins, President Vella, and Mrs Miriam Vella to UCC,” stated Professor John O’Halloran, President of UCC. “We warmly welcome them to our campus to view some of our treasures, meet our students, and hear about our leading environmental research.”
On World Book Day, President Higgins and President Vella viewed The Great Book of Ireland, (Leabhar Mór na hÉireann) which has been described as ‘Ireland’s modern-day Book of Kells.’ It is a modern vellum manuscript comprising the original work of 121 artists, 144 poets and nine composers. Samuel Beckett’s last handwritten poem is among the works in this extraordinary 278-page single volume manuscript, which also includes poems by Seamus Heaney and a poet in his late forties, one Michael D. Higgins, the current President of Ireland.
The delegation also viewed The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine, which was published by UCC’s Cork University Press (CUP), and its 728 pages and over 1,000 images offer a new and extraordinary insight into a defining period in Irish history. Much acclaimed, The Atlas of the Great Irish Famine was awarded the Best Irish Book of the Year for 2012, proving to be one of CUP’s most popular books ever, with over 22,000 copies sold. The book was developed into a documentary, ‘The Hunger’, a co-production by UCC, RTÉ, and ARTE, the European Culture Channel, and was narrated by Liam Neeson.