Allow me to begin this by painting a little vignette.
"Is there a doctor in the house!?"
"Please help, my husband is ill!"
"As an honorary doctor, I will do all I can."
"Oh thank you- wait. A what now?"
"An honorary doctor. I'm not medically qualified in any way. But I am an honorary doctor."
"You go near my ill husband and I'll glass you, you insane man."
Such is what I imagine the life of most honorary doctors to be, and now, come Monday their ranks are about to swell by the sum of one. That's right Enda Kenny, of Taoiseach fame, is about to be conferred with an honorary doctorate from NUIG. He will be awarded a 'Doctor of Laws' degree.
Honorary doctorates, despite whatever worthy achievements their recipient has made to qualify for one, always seem like a something of a poisoned chalice. While it may be initially impressive to be able to tell someone you are a doctor, you then have to so heavily qualify that statement that it immediately undermines any of its lustre.
Whatever else you think about Enda Kenny, it is a traditional procedure for NUIG to award an honorary doctorate to all ex-Taoisigh. However, it used to also be tradition to empty buckets of your own effluence into the streets outside your house, we then developed proper sewage systems, sometimes tradition ought give way.