Richard Hooton wins Prestigious Cunningham Prize

Mallow man Richard Hooton was presented with the Cunningham Prize at a function in the Geological Survey of Ireland premises in Dublin last week. The Cunningham Prize was established by the Geological Survey of Ireland in memory of Dr. Mark Cunningham who was assistant director of the GSI up to his death in 1980. Each year 4th year geology students from UCC, UCD, Trinity College, and NUIG undertake independent geological mapping and research projects in an area of their choosing. The individual colleges then choose the best two and submit them to the GSI. The Cunningham Prize is awarded to the best two mapping projects of equal standing. The award is widely recognised within the scientific community.

Richard’s thesis was titled ‘The Geology of the North Western Dingle Peninsula’. Speaking to Richard, he said “It was my absolute privilege and pleasure to spend two full months walking and hiking the beaches and mountains of West Kerry gathering my data. Truly a magical place, nowhere will ever compare to its rugged beauty. There are no words to describe the debt of gratitude I owe the UCC Department of Geology and also the wider UCC School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences. A small family for 4 years, thank you! More important, my parents. I have no words only thank you.”

Richard was presented with his prize by a member of the Cunningham family. Also in attendance was Professor Betty Hicks from UCC who acted as Richard’s supervisor throughout his research.