Belfast Telegraph

Michael and Martin O'Neill receive honorary degrees at Ulster University graduations

The Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland football team managers have received honorary degrees at the Ulster University's summer graduations.

Ballymena man Michael O'Neill and Kilrea's Martin O'Neill received their honorary degrees for their outstanding contributions to sport.

Martin was a former Northern Ireland captain and was capped 64 times, while Michael has been lauded for his heroics taking the current team to France for the European Championships and putting them on the cusp of qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

Read more: Reports: Northern Ireland to reach highest ever world ranking place

They were among 13 individuals to be honoured at the 2017 summer graduations.

Former Ardoyne priest Father Gary Donegan of the Peace and Reconciliation Office, and Steve Coyle, chief executive of AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, were recognised for their contributions to peace-building, while Sally O'Neill was honoured for her overseas development work.

Manager of the Republic of Ireland football team, Martin O’Neill, received the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) for his contribution to Irish football. (Photo: Nigel McDowell/Ulster University)

The Comptroller of New York State, Thomas DiNapoli, was recognised for promoting US investment in Northern Ireland, and Patrick Yu, former chief executive of the NI Council for Ethnic Minorities, for his contribution to the promotion of racial equality and multiculturalism.

For services to engineering, David Orr and Wendy Blundell are recognised, as is Peter Sachs for his contribution to teaching and research in digital electronics. Fr Harry Coyle, Sean Doran, John Irvine and Dáithí O' Ceallaigh are recognised for contributions to the international arts, journalism and Irish language respectively, and Richard Simms for his work as a sports agent.

Ulster University vice-chancellor Professor Paddy Nixon said each of the recipients has made "an indelible mark in their field".

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