Jacqueline O’Donovan, Bernard Canavan and Marianne Elliot honoured for their work in Britain
Three representatives from the Irish community in Britain will be honoured with the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad for 2017.
Longford-born artist Bernard Canavan will rub shoulders with Hollywood star Liam Neeson, as the pair both have been acknowledged for their work in the Arts, Culture and Sport.
London-born businesswoman Jacqueline O’Donovan, is to receive it for Irish Community Support, as she made the final shortlist of ten recipients out of 95 nominations. The Managing Director of O’Donovan Waste is a prominent and active member of a number of Irish business networks and has been a very generous donor/sponsor to a number of Irish charities.
Professor Marianne Elliot is recognised in the Peace, Reconciliation and Development Category, and is an eminent Irish historian who has lectured at a wide range of British Universities and in the US.
Having joined the University of Liverpool in 1993, she retired in 2015 after more than 40 years at the forefront of researching Irish history, and pioneering the pursuit of Irish Studies in the UK. She played a role in the Northern Ireland peace process, particularly as a member of the international peace commission.
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.
President Michael D Higgins will present the awards to the recipients at a ceremony later this year.
Announcing the recipients of the award, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney, said: “These 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.
“This is the sixth year in which recipients have received this Award, and the ceremony remains a very important opportunity to 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.”
Minister for the Diaspora, Ciarán Cannon said: “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.
“That the recipients of these awards represent Ireland to the world should be an immense 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.”
The full list of recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Awards in 2017 is:
ARTS, CULTURE AND SPORT
• Bernard Canavan (Britain)
• Liam Neeson (US)
BUSINESS AND EDUCATION
• Patricia Harty (US)
• Denis Mulcahy (US)
• Mary T. Murphy (Ethopia)
IRISH COMMUNITY SUPPORT
• Hideki Mimura (Japan)
• Jacqueline O’Donovan (Britain)
PEACE, RECONCILIATION AND DEVELOPMENT
• John de Chastelain (Canada)
• Marianne Elliot (Britain)
SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
• William Campbell (US)