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Solicitor honoured for profound contribution to UL
Solicitor Michael Houlihan, who has been awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws by UL

28 Apr 2023 / education Print

Solicitor cited for profound contribution to UL

Michael Houlihan, a Clare solicitor and former Law Society president, has been conferred with an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick (UL).

A well-known businessman and civic leader, Michael Houlihan has been described as instrumental in pushing development of both the mid-west region and University of Limerick.

The Ennis man was among four conferees with backgrounds in science, law, communications, and business honoured at University of Limerick this week.

Public relations practitioner Terry Prone and two of UL’s founding professors, Professor Roy Hayhurst and Professor Evan Petty (posthumously) were awarded University of Limerick honorary doctorates at an on-campus ceremony (26 April).

“The bestowing of a UL honorary doctorate represents the opportunity to honour those who have inspired and worked tirelessly to make great contributions in their fields of endeavour,” said UL President Professor Kerstin Mey.

Michael Houlihan was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the ceremony.

Tireless voice

The university citation referred to his “tireless and persuasive voice for progress and demonstrated vision, imagination and diplomatic dexterity in building partnerships that have stimulated growth across Munster."

“Whether as the first Clare man to serve as president of the Law Society of Ireland or as the driving force in transforming his small family law firm into a nationally recognised practice with more than 50 staff, Michael has always pushed standards."


“Through his actions, he has been a powerful flag-bearer for this part of the island and helped redefine the perception of what was possible for a solicitor from outside Dublin,” the commendation continued.

The gathering heard that Michael Houlihan has always known that the collective is greater than the individual, and he has championed community and civic causes for decades.

Expertise and dedication

“His legacy lies in the dozens of projects across Limerick and Clare that would not have been possible without his expertise and dedication. Several of these are dotted around the UL campus,” said UL President Professor Kerstin Mey.

Between 2006 and 2014, during his term as chair of the UL Foundation, Michael helped deliver more than a dozen major capital developments, including the Analog Devices Building, the Glucksman Library and the Bernal Institute – a world-leading centre of science and engineering.

The solicitor has given decades of service to UL and was an active collaborator with Ed Walsh, Chuck Feeney and the Glucksman family, offering wise legal counsel to successive college administrations.

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