Renowned Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte was honoured by The Open University with the award of Doctor of the University at a ceremony in Croke Park which took place on Friday (April 28).
Mr Harte had his award conferred alongside 135 graduating students – from all walks of life, of all ages and backgrounds and from a spectrum of careers.
He was recognised for his exceptional contribution to education and culture.
The Open University makes honorary awards in line with its mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, and the promotion of social justice through the development of knowledge and skills.
A former teacher, Mr Harte is best known for his time managing the Tyrone Senior GAA team. Over 15 seasons he led the team to numerous successes, including the county’s first All-Ireland title in 2003, followed again by victory in 2005 and 2008.
In recent years, Mr Harte set up the Michaela Foundation in honour of his late daughter, to provide opportunities to young girls from all backgrounds to share their experiences of the Irish language and culture, and their faith, wellbeing and creativity.
Mr Harte said: “I am delighted to have been nominated for this prestigious award of an honorary doctorate from The Open University.
“The OU provides a wonderful platform for those who never had the chance to study higher education to fulfil that ambition. Equally it gives a second chance to those who, for a variety of reasons, may not have been able to graduate first time round.
“Since Open University study has often to be undertaken whilst holding down a job or rearing a family (sometimes both) only serves to add value, as future employees, to the people who achieve their academic success in this way. The fact that the graduation ceremony is being held in Croke Park, the scene of many memorable days for me, only adds to my sense of gratitude to receive this award.”