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Honour for Outstanding Belfast Educationalists

The outstanding educational leadership shown by two Belfast headmasters is being recognised by the University of Ulster today.

Andy McMorran, former principal of Ashfield Boys High School in Belfast and PJ O’Grady, the retired principal of St Patrick’s, Bearnageeha, will receive today the honorary degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv) in recognition of the role they played in helping to transform their respective schools and for their contribution to the local community.

During a teaching career which spanned four decades, Mr O’Grady spent 14 years as the headmaster of St Patrick’s Bearnageeha in north Belfast, turning it into one of the city’s most respected high schools and promoting cross community initiatives.

As principal of Ashfield Boys’ High School Mr McMorran has been a champion of raising educational standards in disadvantaged communities and cross community activity.

In 2007, he was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to education.

In an anti-sectarianism initiative in 2004, both headmasters brought their respective school’s hockey players and hurlers together to take on Plockton High School, Scotland’s school champions, in the highland sport of shinty.