One of Ireland’s most distinguished media figures has been honoured at Queen’s University, Belfast.
Journalist, commentator, arts critic and literary editor of The Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole was be awarded a DLit for services to broadcasting. A regular contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books, Mr O’Toole has written more than a dozen books himself, including Ship of Fools, his critique of Ireland’s ‘Celtic Tiger’ era and subsequent financial crash. His History of Ireland in 100 Objects, based on the long-running series in The Irish Times, won Best Book in the 2013 Irish Book Awards.
Mr O’Toole has initiated and led much public debate on the big issues affecting Irish society. Through his weekly columns in The Irish Times, he has shone a light on political corruption, immigration, the state of Ireland's public services and growing inequality during Ireland's economic boom, among other issues.
Ahead of receiving his degree, he said: 'It is a great pleasure and a deep honour to receive an honorary doctorate from an institution of learning for which I have such respect. As well as being a home for outstanding scholarship, Queen’s has stayed true to the ideals of civility, inclusivity and open-mindedness without which the possibilities of a shared future would be so much dimmer for everyone on the island of Ireland. Journalists should not expect too much approbation but this unexpected mark of esteem, coming from such a wonderful source, is highly encouraging.'