President hosts Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony

Thu 21st Nov, 2019 | 17:15
location: (Dublin) Áras an Uachtaráin

(Dublin) Áras an Uachtaráin

Thursday, 21st November, 2019

President hosts Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony

At a ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin President Michael D. Higgins presented the 2019 Presidential Distinguished Service Awards.

The Awards are presented by the President every year, in recognition of the service given to this country, or to Irish communities abroad, by those who live outside Ireland.

The Awards were created in 2011, as a means to recognise the contribution of members of the Irish diaspora, and the first awards were presented by President Michael D. Higgins in 2012. 


The 2019 recipients are:

Arts, Culture and Sport

  • Ian Gibson (Spain)
  • Charlotte Moore and Ciaran O’Reilly (US)

Business and Education

  • Paul Drechsler (Britain)
  • Michael Kenneally and Rhona Richman Kenneally (Canada)

Charitable Works

  • Fr. Patrick Clarke (Brazil)
  • Bernard Lynch (Britain)

Irish Community Support

  • Jackie Donohoe (US)

Peace, Reconciliation and Development

  • Sally O’Neill Sanchez (deceased - Honduras)

Science and Technology

  • Jocelyn Bell Burnell (Britain)
  • William Howlett (Tanzania)


Throughout his term in office, President Higgins has emphasised the global nature of Ireland’s cultural heritage, the significance of the diaspora and the common history and identity we share “despite the borders, oceans and miles that may separate us”.