The President, Michael D Higgins, will today present the 2014 Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award to the President of the Massachusetts State, Senator Therese Murray in Buncrana, Donegal.
The ceremony will be attended by guests from Ireland and friends and associates of President Murray as well as members of the O’Neill family from the United States.
The award was initiated in 2012 which was the centenary of the birth of speaker Thomas P. Tip O’Neill who contributed so much to political life in the United States and who played a pivotal role in the Irish peace process and in promoting the economic wellbeing of Ireland.
The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award is now awarded to the a chosen member of the Irish Diaspora to recognise their achievements and commitment to Ireland and to Irish people living abroad.
Mícheal Ó hÉanaigh, Director of Services in Donegal County Council, said the honour os a very worthy one.
“This is an important event in the context of the Irish Diaspora as we honour a member of our broad Diaspora for her work and achievement on behalf of the Irish community in Massachusetts. The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award over the years has been a fantastic means of reaching out to our broad Irish Diaspora throughout the World”.
Speaking from the US this week, Rosemary O’Neill, daughter of Tip O’Neill expressed her excitement about this year’s event.
“It is a great honour to come back to Ireland to meet the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, and participate in the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award and in the Diaspora events that compliment the weekend’s festivities. Tip’s grandmother Eunice Fullerton was born outside Buncrana so this part of the world still resonates as home for many of us. This is a great opportunity for members of our family to visit our ancestral home and meet the local community who have put so much work into organising this weekend of events.”
Seamus Neely, Chief Executive of Donegal County Council welcomed this year’s Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards.
He said “Donegal County Council is delighted to have the President of Ireland , Michael D Higgins, to join us on this very important occasion as he has always reached out to the Diaspora and is grateful to the President for the honour of presenting the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award to President Therese Murray. Donegal County Council realises the importance of our Diaspora and this important initiative compliments our strategy in reaching out and bringing back our Diaspora. We are delighted to have the involvement of our partners in this event.”
Other events taking place over the weekend include:
The official opening of Sliabh Sneacht Centre, Drumfries, Co Donegal on 12th September at 4.00pm. Welcome to everyone
The Presentation of the Tip O’Neill Inishowen Schools Essay/Art Competition on 13th September at 10.00am at the Sliabh Sneacht Centre, Drumfries, Co Donegal. Free of charge and everyone welcome.
The Annual Tip O’Neill Diaspora Lecture on 13th September 2013 at 11.00am in the Sliabh Sneacht Centre, Drumfries, Co Donegal. Free of charge and everyone welcome.