#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 20 October 2020

Comhghairdeas! New award to be given to high-achieving Irish abroad

The Presidential Distinguished Service Award will be formal recognition by the State of people living abroad who have given distinguished service to Ireland.

Go team Ireland
Go team Ireland
Image: AP Photo/Matt Dunham

A NEW AWARD to recognise achievements by Irish people living abroad is to be given out from this year, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has announced.

The Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad will be formal recognition by the State to the Irish diaspora who have given sustained and distinguished service to Ireland.

It is broadly similar to the Légion d’Honneur which is given by the French government to people who have served France or its ideals. The proposal had first been put forward at the Global Irish Economic forum last October.

No more than ten people will be presented with the award by the President at an annual ceremony.

At least one person will be chosen from a number of sectors including the arts, culture and sport, charitable works, business and education, peace and reconciliation, development work, and Irish community support.

The government is also to consider proposals for a similar award for recognising similar achievements by people resident in Ireland.

Speaking in Toronto today, Eamon Gilmore said that the award will acknowledge the contribution made by the diaspora to Ireland.

Some engage with Ireland and our overseas communities to stay connected with their roots, others do so to be part of our heritage and our culture. Regardless of the reason, their contribution is deeply appreciated. This annual conferring by the President will be a fitting acknowledgement of that.

Gilmore is one of a number of government ministers spending Patrick’s Day abroad as part of an ongoing effort to promote Ireland’s business links with other countries.

How did the White House shamrock event first start? >

In pictures: Iconic sites go green for St Patrick’s Day >

Read next: