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Enda Kenny got an honorary doctorate at NUIG today

He follows other former Taoisigh in receiving the award.

FORMER TAOISEACH ENDA Kenny received an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland (NUI) today.

Having conferred the honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree to the Mayo TD, NUIG President Dr Jim Browne hailed Kenny for his “enormous contributions to national and international politics”.

According to the college, the tradition of conferring honorary degrees dates back to the NUI charter of 1908. Since then NUI has conferred honorary degrees mainly with the purpose of honouring academic distinction, whether in the humanities or in the sciences.

The NUI traditionally honours those who have held the office of Taoiseach.

In a statement it said it honours those “who, whether in their personal or representative capacities, through their energies, service and actions, have contributed significantly to public life”.

Kenny was educated at the university in Galway, and later studied in St Patrick’s College of Education in Dublin.

He worked briefly as a primary school teacher before entering the world of politics in 1975 following the death of his father. He became leader of Fine Gael in 2002, leading the party for 15 years. He served as Taoiseach from March 2011 until May 2016.

Since stepping down as Taoiseach, Kenny appears to be enjoying more leisurely activities and has been spotted out and about, enjoying some of his hobbies, such as cycling (he cycles the Ring of Kerry every year) and golf.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open - Day One - Portstewart Golf Club Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny during day one of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Kenny isn’t the only former Taoiseach to be honoured in this way this year.

In July, former taoiseach Brian Cowen was conferred with an honorary doctorate by the National University of Ireland.

In a speech at the Dublin Castle event, Cowen said that he regrets the jobs that people lost during the recession, but defended his time in government.

With reporting from Sean Murray

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