Citations - Mr. Dick Spring (Public Life)
Dick Spring's achievements in politics are recognised throughout the world and in hi sown right he is an established businessman operating in global markets.
Dick was born in Tralee and was the son of Dan Spring , the well known TD. Following his second level education he moved on to Trinity College and Kings Inns where he graduated as a barrister.
He rose through the ranks quickly, becoming the leader of the Irish Labour party and Minister for Foreign Affairs
His political life began in 1979 following his success in the local elections. He was first elected as a Labour TD in 1981 and became leader of the Labour party in 1982, a position he held until 1997. He served as Tánaiste in three Coalition Governments, from 1982- until 1997. He also held ministerial office in the Departments of the Environment, Energy and Foreign Affairs.
He was centrally involved in the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985 and the Downing Street Declaration of 1993. He co-chaired the British-Irish Inter-Governmental Conference from 1993 to 97. Dick led the Irish delegation to the All-Party Talks in Belfast, which culminated in the Good Friday Agreement. As Minister for Foreign Affairs, he represented Ireland at the General Council of the EU, a body he chaired during Ireland's Presidency in 1996. He also chaired the European Council of Energy Ministers in 1984.
As well as addressing the General Assembly of the UN on a number of occasions, Dick led EU missions to the former Yugoslavia, Russian Federation; ASEAN Regional Forum; EU-SADAC; the Middle East; and the EU Gulf Co-operation Council.
After 23 years in politics, he retired and moved into the world of business.
Dick Spring is chairman and non-executive director of a number of companies. He is Deputy Chairman of Fexco, a global provider of International Services based in Killorglin.
Dick is a good friend of the Institute and has informally been used as a mentor by management of Institute. He has been central to the success of many start-up companies in Kerry Technology Park for example Altobridge. He has also been involved with the Endeavour programme, which will be launched this autumn.
Dick has acted as a mentor to participants on the MBA programme. He has supported business initiatives in campus with Kerry Technology Park. Dick also generously donated his large collection of Irish law books to the Institute Library. The collection is available to researchers and will be displayed in the new purpose-built library here in the North Campus.
Dick Spring is a Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar and an Associate Fellow of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard.
When not involved in politics or business, Dick continues to be an avid sports fan. Having played hurling and football for Kerry in the seventies he also won three rugby caps for Ireland. Outside of work, he also enjoys an occasional round of golf at a very respectable handicap.
Admired throughout Ireland for his many successes, Dick Spring is a worthy recipient of the Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Technology, Tralee.