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President Higgins pays tribute to William Campbell

Date: Thu 12th Nov, 2020 | 19:30

Professor William Campbell,

It give me great pleasure to join so many others in paying tribute to you today. Traoslaím leat.

When we last met, on an occasion when I had the privilege of bestowing the Presidential Distinguished Services Award on you in 2017, I reminded those present of the fact that you were the first Irish-born scientist to win the Nobel Prize for Medicine.

That Prize, as all must acknowledge and celebrate, was awarded to you in recognition of your discovery of avermectin, the derivatives of which are used to treat two of the world’s most damaging parasitic diseases affecting the most vulnerable and under-resourced people in the world.

Your work has had an enormous, positive, impact on the lives of millions of people, and humanity owes you a debt of gratitude for that alone.

However, allow me to pay tribute to you again today for your profoundly ethical approach to your work, and indeed for your solidarity, offered with humility, in delivering through your science what is your compassion for all humanity. It is for this, your humanity and your concern that the fruits of science and technology be made available for universal social benefit, that I and others seek the opportunity again to honour you.

Ar son muintir na hÉireann, is mian liom buíochas a ghabháil leat, agus comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leat faoin mbreithlá a cheiliúir tú le déanaí.

You truly are an inspiration and example to us all, and to those to come.

Gabhaim buíochas leat, agus guím gach rath ort i ngach gné do’d shaol.

Beir beannacht.