Death of former University of Limerick Chancellor

The late Dr Miriam Hederman O'Brien

FORMER UL Chancellor Dr Miriam Hederman O’Brien, has passed away. She was the first woman Chancellor of any university in Ireland and served from 1998 to 2002.

”All at University of Limerick are deeply saddened to hear of the death of our esteemed former Chancellor Miriam Hederman O’Brien,” a statement from UL said.

UL Chancellor Mary Harney said: “Dr Hederman O’Brien was an inspirational role model who I was privileged to know and learn so much from. Irish society was enriched by her leadership and scholarship. I express my sympathies to her family at this sad time.”

”UL benefited hugely from her leadership, her enthusiastic engagement, her vast experience and wise counsel over the term of her time in office. Throughout her life she contributed in great measure to Irish and European society through her participation and leadership of a diverse range of councils, commissions and research bodies in Ireland and abroad,” said UL President Professor Kerstin Mey.

Dr O’Brien held a Ph.D in Political and Economic Science from Trinity College, Dublin and had a career which spanned across multiple areas like Social Partnership, the Civil Service, Media, the judicial system and many others.

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Recognition of her dedication to the public good has been shown by several authorities: she received Gold Medal for service to Poland (1992); the European Order of Merit (1984); Honorary Doctorates from the Pontifical University of Maynooth (1997), the National University of Ireland, Dublin (2001) and the University of Ulster (2002).

Membership of the Royal Academy of Ireland was conferred upon Dr Hederman O’Brien in 2005.

In a volume of essays celebrating the work of Dr Hederman O’Brien Donal de Buitléir and Frances Ruane said ”a common thread of her work has been a restless dissatisfaction with the status quo and a passionate desire to make things better”.