Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Campaigner for human rights and actress honoured

Graduation ceremonies for the University of Ulster moved to Londonderry today as students from its Magee campus received awards from the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences.

The ceremonies were due to be held in Derry's Millennium Forum.

Kate Allen was celebrating receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) in recognition of services to the promotion of human rights and to mark Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary and Susan Lynch was set to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) for services to acting.

Ms Allen, who heads the UK section of Amnesty International, the world's largest human rights organisation, is a regular visitor to Northern Ireland.

She has actively supported the organisation's campaign work in Northern Ireland including efforts to legislate for a Bill of Rights and the establishment of an inquiry into historic institutional child abuse. She has also worked closely with local teachers to develop bespoke teaching resources for the teaching of human rights in primary schools in Northern Ireland.

Newry-born Susan Lynch is one of Northern Ireland's best known stage and accomplished screen actresses having starred in From Hell, Elizabeth: the Golden Age and Enduring Love.

Between 2000 and 2003, she won three Irish film and television awards.

In addition to the Best Actress awards for her portrayal of Nora, she was named Best Actress for the comedy Anytime Now and Best Supporting Actress and a British independent film award for 16 Years of Alcohol.

Also graduating today with a BAHons in Drama was playwright John-Paul Conaghan who staged his play Solicitors at the Derry Playhouse Theatre last Saturday.

The 25-year-old Derryman, whose family name is steeped in the city's tradition of theatre and music, and his fellow students have set up their own theatrical company which is called Fahy Productions.

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