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From the world of sport

An Irish rugby legend: Brian O’Driscoll

O’Driscoll has captained Ireland, Leinster and the British & Irish Lions. He has 141 Test caps, and his 46 tries for Ireland and one try for the Lions make him the highest try scorer of all time in Irish Rugby. He holds the Six Nations record for most tries scored with 26.

Paralympic skier and gold medal winner, Kelly Gallagher, and her guide, Charlotte Evans, attending their honorary graduation
Kelly Gallagher MBE & Charlotte Evans MBE

The first athlete from Northern Ireland to compete in the Winter Paralympics, Gallagher won Britain’s first Winter Paralympic Gold for skiing during Sochi 2014.

Gallagher is severely visually impaired and uses a sighted guide, Charlotte Evans.

Professional golfer and former Ryder cup-winning captain, Paul McGinley, at his honorary graduation
Paul McGinley

After turning professional in 1991, Dublin-born McGinley won the World Cup of Golf for Ireland six years later with Pádraig Harrington.

McGinley made three victorious Ryder Cup appearances in 2002, 2004 and 2006 before guiding the European team to victory as captain in 2014.

Mickey Harte Queen's Honorary Graduate procession
Mickey Harte

Harte was awarded an honorary Doctorate for services to Gaelic football in 2006.

The current — and most successful — Gaelic football manager of the Tyrone senior inter-county team, he has led Tyrone to three All-Ireland titles, four Ulster titles, one National League, and nine Dr. McKenna Cups.

double Olympic gold medallist, Dame Kelly Holmes, giving a speech after accepting her honorary degree from Queen's University Belfast
Dame Kelly Holmes

A middle distance runner with a specialism in the 800 and 1500 metres events, Holmes won Gold for both at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

She set British records in numerous events and still holds the records over the 600, 800, 1000, and 1500 metres distances. In 2005, she won the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year.

Former Olympic champion, Dame Mary Peters, attending her honorary graduation
Mary Peters

Winner of Gold in the women’s pentathlon at the 1972 Summer Olympics, Dame Mary was also known in her athletics career for her prowess in the shot put.

On top of her success in Munich, she also won four medals – three gold, one silver - for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games, in her sixteen-year career.

Former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer, George Best, at his honorary graduation
George Best

One of Northern Ireland’s greatest sportsmen, Best was honoured in December 2001.

He played over 400 times for Manchester United and is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

Paralympic, World and European gold medal-winning Irish Paralympic athlete, Michael McKillopp, attending his honorary graduation
Michael McKillop

A native of Ballymena, McKillop is a middle distance runner and Paralympic athlete.

Amongst his achievements are winning Gold in the T37 800m at both the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics, in world record time, and in the 1500m T37 race at the 2012 Games.

Northern Irish adventurer, athlete, rower, author and international motivational speaker, Mark Pollock and his partner, Simone George, attending an honorary graduation
Mark Pollock

Having lost his sight at the age of 22, Pollock became the first blind man to race to the South Pole in 2009.

An adventurer, athlete, Commonwealth medal-winning rower, author and motivational speaker, Pollock has worked extensively towards overcoming his disabilities and helping others to do the same after being paralysed from the waist down by an accident in 2010.