Colm Ó hEocha
Scientist, Deceased Person
1926 – 1997
Who was Colm Ó hEocha?
Ó hEocha was born in Dungarvan, County Waterford, in 1926. His father, Séamus Ó hEocha, known as An Fear Mór, was headmaster of the Irish-language college at An Rinn, and had become famous as a roving teacher of Irish for the Gaelic League.
Ó hEocha enrolled at University College Galway in 1945, and obtained his B.Sc. and M.Sc. in chemistry under the direction of Professor Thomas Dillon. He was subsequently awarded a scholarship which enabled him to continue his studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he obtained his Ph.D. He is a University of California, San Diego Alumnus, also receiving his Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. Returning to Galway in 1955, he became a lecturer in biochemistry, and was appointed the first Professor of Biochemistry at the university in 1963.
Ó hEocha successfully built up the Department of Biochemistry throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and was notably successful in attracting external research funding to the college. He was appointed Chairman of the Irish Science Council in 1967.
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