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Aengus MacGrianna to be master of ceremonies at this year’s Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award

Aengus MacGrianna

Aengus MacGrianna, RTE


Well known RTE newsreader Aengus MacGrianna will perform the master of ceremonies at this year’s Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award.


Aengus, who has longstanding connections with Donegal, is best known as one of the most popular anchor newsreaders on RTÉ One’s Six One and 9 O’Clock News bulletins.


This year’s award ceremony will take place at a gala function in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel on Friday 25 September which will be the centre piece in a weekend of events marking the life and times of the late Tip O’Neill.


This year’s ceremony will also be attended by Minister for Diaspora Affairs Mr. Jimmy Deenihan T.D. who will present the 2015 Irish Diaspora Award to US based philanthropist Ms. Loretta Brennan Glucksman.


Ms. Glucksman, has been involved in philanthropic endeavours for more than two decades, focusing on education, the arts, healthcare and peace initiatives in both the United States and Ireland, a passion she shared with her late husband Lew Glucksman.   Her grandfather, David Brennan, hailed from Inishowen fishing port, Greencastle and her grandmother was Alice Moore from Co Leitrim.  


Ms Glucksman is the Chairman Emeritus of the American Ireland Fund (AIF), where she served as its Chairman for 18 years before stepping down in December 2013. 


The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award was initiated in 2012 as a means of commemorating the centenary of the birth of the late Tip O’Neill an illustrious grandson of Donegal emigrants and an eminent member of the Irish Diaspora. 


This award has gained momentum since the inaugural ceremony in 2012 and has become a highlight of the Donegal calendar.  Previous recipients include journalist and publisher Niall O’Dowd, former Governor of Montana Brian Schweitzer and Senator Therese Murray former president of the Massachusetts Senate.


Cllr. Nicholas Crossan chair of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award Committee believes that commemorating Tip O’Neill in this way is a fitting tribute to a man who contributed greatly not only to political life in the US but also in Ireland. 


“Tip O’Neill’s contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of Ireland has been well documented.  His role in bringing peace to our island and advocating on behalf of the Irish people on the international stage makes him one of the most well known and loved members of the Irish Diaspora.  I think this award is a fitting tribute to a man who made such a remarkable contribution to our country”.


Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Cllr Ciaran Brogan said “Donegal County Council has been to the fore in reaching out to our global community especially through our Donegal Diaspora project and the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award is one way of recognising the massive contribution that members of the Irish Diaspora has made throughout the world”.


Other events over the weekend will include the Tip O’Neill Diaspora Lecture with Prof Rónan Fanning at 11am on Saturday, September 26 in the Sliabh Sneacht Centre, Drumfries and the Inishowen Schools Diaspora competition.


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