A Donegal-born priest has been announced as one of the recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Awards.
Fr Kevin O’Hara, who is from Stranorlar, is a St Patrick’s Missionary Priest who has worked in Nigeria for over 40 years.
A champion for human rights, Fr O’Hara founded the Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Centre in Eastern Nigeria and The Centre for Social and Corporate Responsibility. His notable activism work also laid bare the impact of extractive industries in the Niger Delta. He has won numerous awards in his lifetime and continues to work as a promoter of human rights and peace.
He is one of 14 recipients of this year’s 2020 Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and will be honoured in the Peace, Reconciliation & Development category.
The Presidential Distinguished Service Award was established 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.
Announcing this year’s winners, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D said:
“I am delighted to have the opportunity once again to formally recognise the achievements of some of the finest members of our global family, our diaspora. The Presidential Distinguished Service Award celebrates the diversity of our global Irish family. The contribution of the Irish Abroad has been immense, and the diversity of their achievements in their many walks of life, can be seen in this year’s 14 awardees.
“Each of these individuals have made a remarkable contribution to Ireland and to our international reputation. I am deeply grateful for their service and commitment to this country. This is the ninth year the Presidential Distinguished Service Award has inscribed in history, our nation’s pride and gratitude for an extraordinary group of individuals, who have honoured Ireland.”