First TUS graduates urged to stand strong against Covid disinformation

Pictured ahead of the first TUS graduation ceremony was Ryan Moore, Caherdavin Limerick with his daughters Indie (3) and Kaia (6) . Photo: Arthur Ellis

by Tom McCullough

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MORE than 1,500 graduates of the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) made history this Tuesday and Wednesday by becoming the first ever graduates of Ireland’s newest Technological University.

The Class of 2021, which included six PhD graduates, from across the university’s Moylish, LSAD, Thurles, Clonmel and Ennis campuses came together at TUS Gaelic Grounds to receive their parchment, with a further cohort graduating from the Athlone campus two weeks ago.

More than 4,500 family members and well-wishers attended the four conferring  ceremonies in the purpose-built outdoor arena at the TUS Gaelic Grounds to celebrate the historic occasion.

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Dylan Cotter, St Marys Park, and Ian O’Sullivan, Ballylanders; Civil Engineering. Photo: Arthur Ellis

At the conferring ceremony in Limerick, the Chair of the TUS Governing Body Josephine Fehily acknowledged the unprecedented challenges the class of 2021 faced during the last 18 months.

“They are, and always will be, the first ever to receive an award from TUS. As the first graduates of TUS, I hope you will remain fiercely proud of your alma mater and work with us to collectively advance the Midlands and Mid West regions for all who live and work here, as we move towards a post-pandemic life – a life which feels as if it will be different somehow.”

Pictured ahead of the first TUS graduation ceremony was Sebastian Wolanin , Shannon Co Clare, with his daughter Gabriella (1) . Photo: Arthur Ellis

TUS President Professor Vincent Cunanne asked graduates to stand independent and strong against pandemic disinformation by drawing on their education and their experience over the last year and a half.

“The latter part of your journey through college saw you face challenges which were unknown until their emergence. Your graduation is a further mark of your achievement and your resilience, something that my colleagues and I wish to recognise and congratulate.

“But of course, with experience comes responsibility and you bear a particular responsibility to apply your knowledge and resilience to better your world.

“In recent times, we have seen the emergence of what is sometimes referred to as the pandemic of disinformation – the ignoring of fact and the dismissal of those with expertise. This is played out in many aspects of life and fuelled by the ubiquity of online engagement.

“Your responsibility is to stand independent and strong against this pandemic of disinformation. Just as you have prevailed through the Covid-19 pandemic, so you will prevail in this one, because you have been taught to think critically, you have been taught to use facts and you have been taught to apply logic. You have proved your ability in this regard, and you have succeeded in adversity.”

Pictured ahead of the first TUS graduation ceremony were Sean Smith, Nenagh Co Tipperary; Lee Howard, Burgess Co Tipperary; and Ben Banaghan, Nenagh Co Tipperary, Construction Management . Photo: Arthur Ellis

Vice President Academic Affairs and Registrar Marian Duggan also paid tribute to the graduates’ resilience and congratulated them on being the inaugural graduates of TUS.

“The conferring of academic awards is the highlight of the academic calendar and a special occasion for our community, but this year is unique and you, the class of 2021 will always occupy a particularly special place in the unfolding story of TUS,” she said.