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Irish government honours Rhona Richman Kenneally

Published: 21 November 2019

[ from the Concordia News webpage: ]

As Concordia’s School of Irish Studies celebrates its landmark 10th anniversary, the Irish government is recognizing the school’s two co-founders.

Rhona Richman Kenneally (BA'79, MA'83, BScArch'91, BArch'94, PhD'03), professor in the Department of Design and Computation Arts, and her partner, Michael Kenneally, principal of the School of Irish Studies, are each recipients of the 2019 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad. They earned the award in the category of Business and Education for their work on behalf of Ireland, principally for establishing the School of Irish Studies.

“We aim to be a beacon, a model and a way forward for Irish studies,” says Kenneally, who’s also a former president of the St. Patrick’s Society of Montreal.

“We have been committed to make the school resonate in ways that satisfy the needs of the Irish community in Montreal and beyond,” says Richman Kenneally, a fellow of the school and also editor of the Canadian Journal of Irish Studies. “We also aim to promote innovative and compelling scholarship by tying together many different disciplines in a way that challenges students and researchers at all levels,” she adds.

Richman Kenneally and Kenneally are among this year’s 12 honourees, chosen out of almost 200 nominees from around the world. Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will fly the pair to Ireland to attend a special ceremony held by the President of Ireland at his official residence.

The award is open only to those living outside of the country and celebrates the “hard work, energy and dedication of nominees to make a valuable contribution to people’s lives,” as the citation on the award reads.

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