New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd will be honored with an honorary degree by the National University of Ireland Galway next week.

She will also be given a civic reception attended by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny in Castlebar County Mayo, the county where her mother, Peggy Meenahan's, people, came from.

University College Galway will also host an evening with Maureen Dowd during which Ms Dowd will talk about her career.

Dowd, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is considered among the most influential columnists in America and has a worldwide audience.

Her father, Michael, emigrated from Clare in Ireland and was due to travel on the Titanic in 1912 but took a later ship after his mother begged him not to go. His wife, Peggy, was born in the USA of Irish parents.

Michael Dowd was a National Chairman of  the Ancient Order of Hibernians and was an heroic police officer who was decorated for bravery.

Peggy Dowd was a strong Irish nationalist who took part in demonstrations outside the British Embassy after Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.

Dowd's columns have been described as letters to her late mother, who friends say was "the source, the fountain of Maureen’s humor and her Irish sensibilities and her intellectual take."

Dowd covered the Obama visit to Ireland last year as well as Clinton’s first visit to Ireland which she described as “among the best days of his presidency.”

Maureen Dowd