Patrician Awarded Honorary Doctorate
Br Dr Colm O’Connell

On Friday the 19th of October, Brother Colm O'Connell was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy at Dublin City University. Br. O'Connell is the coach at the now famous Iten training camp in Kenya which has produced some of the world's best athletes. Brother Colm joined St Patrick’s High School in Iten, Kenya as a geography teacher in 1976. Thirty-six years later, he is still in Iten and is now acknowledged as the world’s most successful coach of endurance running, having nurtured five Olympic Gold medallists and 25 world champions. On hand to witness the event was David Rudisha, world record-holder, winner of the London 2012 800m Gold medal and alumnus of Brother Colm’s world-renowned athletics coaching programme in Kenya’s Rift Valley.

Accepting his honorary degree, Brother Colm O’Connell said..........“It is a very humbling experience for me to stand here today to receive such an honour. When looking down through the list of honorary graduates who have gone before me in being honoured by this distinguished university, I feel, indeed, very happy. Also, for somebody to be selected from a remote little village in the highlands of Western Kenya and to be recognised in such a manner is beyond my wildest dreams and imaginings.”

Other guests in attendance at the honorary graduation ceremony included Linda Byrne, 2012 Irish Olympian and marathon runner; Senator Eamonn Coghlan; Mr John Foley, Chief Executive of the Athletic Association of Ireland; HE Ms Catherine Muigai Mwangi, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya; and Mr John Treacy, Irish Sports Council. (Taken from

The video below comes from RTE Television, Ireland, which ran a news item on Colm’s award. We had to remove a section from the report which contained Olympic footage due to copyright limitations.