The Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Mr. Colm Brophy, T.D., has announced the opening of the nominations process for the 2021 Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.
Minister Brophy said:
“I am delighted to announce the call for nominations for the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, which acknowledges the many ways in which members of our Diaspora contribute across the world.
Over the last 9 years, 97 remarkable recipients have received the Award, across a range of categories. Among them are some well-known international names, including Jack Charlton, Liam Neeson, Chuck Feeney, Fionnuala Flanagan, Gabriel Byrne, Dermot O’Leary, Terry Wogan, Fiona Shaw, Thomas Keneally, Edna O’Brien, George Mitchell and Jim Stynes.
As Minister of State for the Diaspora, I am proud that Ireland recognises all that our diaspora have done and continue to do. I want to pay tribute, in particular, to the manner in which the Irish abroad have responded to the challenges brought about by the Covid pandemic. There are many examples of great generosity and care across our global communities, with our diaspora finding new and innovative ways to connect with each other during these particularly difficult times.
I am aware of the profound impact our global family has had around the world, in so many countries and in a variety of fields. Ireland’s greatest resource has always been our people, and the valuable contribution that our community abroad has made to Ireland throughout our history.
We want to ensure that the Award continues to attract outstanding nominees and I encourage everyone to consider nominating eligible candidates.”
The Presidential Distinguished Service Award was established as a means to recognise the contribution of members of the Irish diaspora, and the first awards were made in 2012. Nominations are made by Irish communities abroad through Ireland’s network of Diplomatic Missions.
In order to be eligible for consideration, nominees must be habitually resident outside the island of Ireland and are required to satisfy one of the following additional requirements:
· have rendered distinguished service to the nation and/or its reputation abroad;
· have actively and demonstrably contributed to Ireland and/or its international reputation and/or Irish communities abroad in at least one of the listed categories;
· have a track record of sustained support and engagement with Ireland and/or its international reputation and/or Irish communities abroad over a period of not less than 5 years; or
· have made a sustained and distinguished service to Ireland on a global or international issue of importance.
Nominations should be submitted through the Embassy of Ireland in the country of residence of the nominee before Friday, 6 August 2021.
14 July 2021
Note for Editors
The Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad is neither an honours system nor does it confer any legal entitlements upon the recipients.
The scheme is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs, and a High Level Panel is established to make recommendations to Government. This Panel includes: Mr Niall Burgess, Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs (Chair), Mr Martin Fraser, Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach; Ms Orla O’Hanrahan, Secretary General to the President; and four representatives from the non-Government sector.
Nominations are made by Irish communities abroad through Ireland’s network of Diplomatic Missions.