Northern Ireland news

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern awarded honorary professorship by Queen's University

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who is a regular visitor to Queen's University, pictured at the Riddel Hall in 2016

FORMER Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been awarded an honorary professorship in peace studies by Queen's University Belfast.

Mr Ahern will take part in workshops and masterclasses with students at the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

He served as taoiseach from 1997 to 2008 and played a significant role in the talks that led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, as well as helping negotiate the return of devolution to Stormont in 2007.

He previously received an honorary degree from Queen's in 2008.

Mr Ahern will deliver his first lecture on May 21, when he will reflect on 'Peace Process - In Light of Brexit Issues'.

"I am privileged to accept this honorary professorship in peace studies at the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice. I have enjoyed working with Queen's University since I received my honorary doctorate," he said.

Professor Hastings Donnan, director of the Mitchell Institute, said Queen's was delighted to welcome Mr Ahern.

"Bertie Ahern has been an advocate and supporter of the Mitchell Institute and the university for many years and his political experience will be an asset to both teaching and research at Queen's. We look forward very much to his contribution over the next three years," he said.

Anne Connolly, chair of the Policing Board, and Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire have also been awarded honorary professorships.

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