President Michael D. Higgins presented the 2018 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. Over the last six years, the President has presented the Awards to 61 remarkable recipients, who had been nominated by members of the public and by Irish diplomats.
The 2018 recipients are:
Arts, Culture and Sport
William Kennedy (US)
Edna O’Brien (Britain)
Business and Education
Munira Hamud Mutran (Brazil)
John L. Lahey (US)
Bridget Tighe (Palestine)
Irish Community Support
Tom Power (deceased) (Australia)
Edward J. Ward (US)
Breege McDaid (Britain)
Peace, Reconciliation and Development
Mary Killeen (Kenya)
Science, Technology and Innovation
Margaret Murnane (US)
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”.