University honour for veteran US senator

Veteran US Senator Patrick Leahy will be honoured with an award from Irish academics today for his contribution to politics.

The UCD Literary and Historical Society is to bestow the James Joyce award on the senior Democrat, whose Irish roots gave been traced to Counties Cork and Kerry.

Mr Leahy, a member of the US Senate since 1974, has been a leading proponent of the International Fund for Ireland.

The international initiative supports reconciliation work between unionists and nationalists in Ireland.

The former prosecutor currently serves as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the State Department and Foreign Operations.

He is also a senior member of both the Senate Appropriations and the Senate Agriculture Committees.

The UCD Literary and Historical Society said it wanted to recognise Mr Leahy’s outstanding contribution to American and world politics.

The senator is expected to speak at today’s ceremony about the election of Barack Obama as the new US President and what his administration may mean for US foreign policy.

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