Honorary Life Members

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Honorary Life Membership is granted by the Philosoph to individuals who have made a significant contribution to the society in some way. It confers voting rights, subsequent to constitutional restrictions, that persist after the HLM has ceased to be a student of UCC, and is regarded as the highest honour the society can bestow on a member, though HLMs have been awarded to non-students in the past.

HLMs are awarded by a vote on a motion, often along the lines of "That This House Would Honour Him/Her", traditionally at the AGM, although they have been bestowed at ordinary meetings and at EGMs such as the Munster Schools Final. The society will consider very carefully whether to move to give a person a HLM in the first place and as such HLMs are traditionally not opposed in a serious fashion; Tiernan Fitzgibbon's HLM, for instance, was opposed by Matt Wantman on the basis that if no one else was going to oppose him then he was clearly not a controversial or divisive enough figure and thus was of no use to a debating society and unworthy of an HLM.

One exception to tradition is the 160th session, which awarded no HLM's. Whilst a motion to 'Honour Him' was proposed about the Auditor Jean-Paul Frenett, it was genuinely opposed. After a vote by secret ballot, the motion was defeated

Since HLMs are awarded by a Private Member's Motion, the Auditor cannot speak on the motion unless they relinquish the chair, and the Auditor's chain. This has led on two occasions recently to an Auditor handing over the chain to a Vice-Auditor, whom they then proposed for a HLM. Paul Flynn and Shane Lyons both received their Honorary Life Memberships while wearing the chain - Paul used his chairmanship to rule his proposer, Diarmuid Early, out of order for speaking too long; Diarmuid eventually took the gavel off him and continued speaking.

While HLMs are never granted automatically, and are within the gift of the membership of the society to bestow, they are typically awarded to all departing Auditors and people who break at Worlds or win national competitions such as the Irish Times or Irish Mace for the society.


Other Societies[edit]

The Philosoph is not the only society to grant Honorary Life Membership. Other debating societies, such as the UCC Law Society, NUI, Galway's Literary and Debating Society and the Glasgow University Union bestow similar awards. There are therefore a few individuals who have the privilege of holding more than one HLM. They include:

Diarmuid Early: Philosoph and LawSoc
Daniel P. McCarthy: Philosoph, Dramat and LawSoc
Steve Nolan: LawSoc and Lit'n'Deb
Derek Lande: Philosoph and GUU
Art Ward: Philosoph and LawSoc

Current List[edit]

Please note this list is far from complete.

Name Session Granted
Sarah Dunphy165th
Ruth Lawlor164th
David Jones164th
Sophie Scannell163rd
Katie Dennison163rd
Becky West162nd
John Beechinor162nd
Kieran O'Sullivan161st
Luke Harris159th
Shane Lyons159th
Art Ward159th
Ross Frenett158th
Daniel P. McCarthy157th
Paul Flynn157th
Tiernan Fitzgibbon157th
Derek Doyle156th
Diarmuid Early156th
Stephen Coutts156th
Tony Murphy155th
Pádraig MacAmhlaoibh 154th
Claire McHugh 153rd
Mark Dowling 153rd
Diarmuid Cahalane 153rd
Derek Lande 153rd
Connor O'Donoghue 152nd
Conor Buckley 152nd
Sinéad Lucey 151st
Stephen Vaughan 150th
Elizabeth Barrett 149th
Muireann Ni Cinneide 149th
Eoin Hyland 149th
Clodagh Whelan 148th
Diarmuid Conway 147th
Adrian Jackson 146th
Gerry Hyde 145th
Colm Ó Cinnéide 144th
Anna Cotter 143rd
Jerome Holland 142nd
Kieran Mulchrone 141st
John M O'Connor 140th
Kieran Doran 139th
Myles Mulchrone 138th
Adrian Hunt 137th
Dennis J. Murray 136th
Damien Riordan 135th
John O'Boyle 134th
James MacGuill 133rd
John R O'Riordan 132nd
Seamus O'Mahony 131st
Donal Godfrey 130th