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Minister Coveney announces the 2021 Presidential Distinguished Service Award Recipients

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D., today announced the recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad for 2021.

The Presidential Distinguished Service Award was established by the Government following the 2011 Global Irish Economic Forum as a means to recognise the contribution of members of the Irish diaspora, and the first awards were made in 2012.

 

Announcing the recipients of the award, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity once again to formally recognise the achievements of some of the finest members of our global family, our diaspora. 

These 11 remarkable people have provided a sustained service and commitment to Ireland and Irish communities abroad, and it is fitting that they have been selected to be honoured by the President.  In the ever changing world we live in, this remarkable group of individuals have been a constant beacon for Ireland and the values we hold dear. 

This is the tenth year in which recipients have received this Award and, through the Presidential Distinguished Service Award we can acknowledge those who have helped to build and expand our reputation across the globe.

The diverse contributions of these individuals extends across six different categories, and the impact of their work and dedication is evident across a number of countries. 

As we look across the globe in these challenging times, the footprints they have left in so many fields, give us the inspiration and confidence to take on the challenges we face.”

 

Colm Brophy, T.D., Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora added:

“As Minister of State for the Diaspora I am aware of the profound impact our global family has had around the world in a variety of fields. There were 107 nominations for these awards this year, and the level and breadth of the achievements of the people nominated are, by any measure, remarkable.

The contribution of the Irish Abroad has been immense, and the diversity of their achievements in their many walks of life, can be seen in this year’s 11 awardees. 

That the recipients of these awards represent Ireland to the world should be a source of pride to all of us, as it is to me, and I am glad that we have the opportunity to acknowledge them as such.”

 

Recipients of the 2021 Presidential Distinguished Service Awards:

PDSA Recipient 2021

Category

Location

Susan Feldman

Arts, Culture and Sport

USA

Roy Foster

Arts, Culture and Sport

Britain

Br. Colm O’Connell

Arts, Culture and Sport

Kenya

Sr. Orla Treacy

Business and Education

South Sudan

Doreen Nanibaa McPaul

Charitable Works

USA

Phyllis Morgan-Fann

Charitable Works

Britain

Jim O’Hara

Charitable Works

Britain

Adrian Flannelly

Irish Community Support

USA

Billy Lawless

Irish Community Support

USA

Bridget Brownlow

Peace, Reconciliation & Development

Canada

Susan Hopkins

Science, Technology & Innovation

Britain

The Awards will be presented by President Higgins at a Ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin on 2nd December 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.

In order to be eligible for consideration, nominees must be habitually resident outside the island of Ireland and are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

(i)    have rendered distinguished service to the nation and/or its reputation abroad;

(ii)  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;

(iii)          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;

(iv) or have given sustained and distinguished service on a global or international issue of importance.  

 The scheme is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and a High Level Panel established to make recommendations to Government.  This Panel includes: Mr Joseph Hackett, 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 were made by Irish communities abroad through Ireland’s network of Diplomatic Missions.

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