Munster rugby legend Paul O’Connell has been conferred with an honorary doctorate by the University of Limerick. The 36-year-old, who has a long association with the college, said he was ‘blown away’ by the honour. He trained there as a competitive swimmer as a child and eventually went on to study computer engineering there before his rugby career took off.
Since then he has been a frequent visitor to UL, with Munster and Ireland using the college as a training base in the past. “To get appreciated by your home university is something very special,” he said. “When you grow up in Limerick close to the city, UL ends up being a big part of your life,” he added. “Long before I ever went here training for Munster, I would have come here for all manner of activities, from camping, to school tours to debating competitions.”
However, he insisted that he won’t be demanding that people refer to him as “Doctor Paul”. He is currently out of action following a hamstring injury suffered at the recent Rugby World Cup, which ended his international career.
He has said that he intends to finish his playing days with French side Toulon, but will be Sidelined.