Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

History man Honour for Bob Geldof

Trinity College Historical Society Auditor Huw Duffy presents Sir Bob Geldof with the society's medal for services to world development

The campaigner was in town to take part in a debate with the College Historical Society, where he spoke in opposition to the motion 'That This House Believes That Development Aid Does More Harm than Good'.

Geldof was greeted with a standing ovation from the hundreds of students who packed out the Graduate Memorial Building to hear him speak. He was one of a panel of eight speakers which included Justin Kilcullen, director of the Irish development agency Trocaire; and Dr Michael Collins of TCD.

Before the debate began, a delighted Geldof received the Hist's gold medal for outstanding contribution to public discourse.

Former recipients of the gold medal include Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone; TCD graduate and author of Dracula, Bram Stoker; human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi; and economist Joseph Stiglitz.

The humanitarian and musician was also honoured for his exceptional contribution to the arts and wider society, and he beamed as he showed off his medal to the room and the large gathering of photographers. He thanked the society, saying he was honoured.

The debate kicked off with some lively discussion as students argued that, despite the huge sums of money sent to Africa by governments and aid agencies, many countries there remain desperately poor and unstable.

The internationally renowned poverty campaigner, and lead singer with the Boomtown Rats, was the last speaker on the night.

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