Michael J. Kelly
Born in Tullamore in 1929, Michael J. Kelly is a Jesuit priest and former Professor of Education at the University of Zambia, Lusaka. He is a Zambian citizen and has been working in education in Zambia since 1955, as a school teacher, university professor, and researcher. From the early 1990s, in response to the devastating impact of HIV and AIDS on human well-being and educational provision in Africa and elsewhere, he became increasingly involved in analyzing and documenting the epidemic's potential to undermine development, the exercise of human rights, and society’s ability to cater for infected and affected children and young people and to assure them of a promising future.
In recognition of his work in the field of HIV and Education, he received the Symons Award from the Association of Commonwealth Universities and honorary doctorates from the University of the West Indies, the National University of Ireland and the Royal College of Surgeons. In addition, the Irish Government established in his name an annual lectureship and a bursary award scheme. In 2012, in recognition of his sustained service to Ireland and Irish communities abroad in the field of peace, reconciliation and development, he was among the first recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.