Phil Coulter, distinguished composer, performer and music ambassador receives Honorary Doctorate

Dublin, 13th November, 2006: Phil Coulter, distinguished music composer, performer and music ambassador, was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from DIT on Saturday (11th November). He was conferred with his award at the DIT Annual Faculty of Applied Arts Graduation held in St Patrick's Cathedral.

In his address to the Assembly, the President of DIT, Professor Brian Norton, said that the Institute wished to acknowledge the enormous contribution that Phil Coulter has made to the performing arts and society. According to Professor Norton; "Phil Coulter is limited neither by genre nor by location; he is both a collaborator and a solo artist; and he has succeeded with equal ease in London, Los Angeles and here in Ireland, by accepting this award he also becomes a standard-bearer for DIT graduates who are now starting out on their own careers".

Phil Coulter pictured with his wife Geraldine outside St Patrick's Cathedral.

Phil Coulter was born in Derry, where he grew up in a music-filled household. He followed this passion to university, where he studied music formally at Queen's University in Belfast. By the time he left Queen's in 1964, Coulter already had published a number of songs and was an accomplished performer, playing his own compositions to large crowds.

The Brass Quintet receives direction from Phil Coulter before the ceremony begins.

From composing show band hits and Eurovision winners to having his songs recorded by icons of popular music such as Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley and the Bay City Rollers; to playing piano with heroes of rock and roll such as Van Morrison and the Rolling Stones; to producing records for traditional Irish bands like the Dubliners and Planxty - Phil Coulter's career has moved from success to success.

In his speech President Norton also highlighted many faculty achievements and congratulated graduates and colleagues who won awards. Included were former colleague Francis Xavier Carty, long associated with the Masters Programme in Public Relations who was conferred with his Doctorate, becoming the first person to gain a PhD in Public Relations in Ireland. Saturday's ceremony also marked the first group of graduates to be conferred with the title Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a Language.

President Norton also spoke of the highly influential work of colleagues. From Dr. Fergus Ryan, who as an advocate on behalf of family units has become a well-known and often consulted commentator on constitutional matters; to Dr. Noirin Hayes, whose work in the area of early childhood education has been influential in changing government policy and Dr. Cliona Doris, who next week will perform a concert of new works for harp on behalf of the Young Composers Collective.

The oration delivered on Phil Coulter can be read by clicking here(pdf format).

Back to Top