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22/06/15 - Recipient of 2015 Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award announced on 1 July 2015


 

The recipient of the 2015 Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award will be announced at a briefing to be held in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, Buncrana at 2pm on Wednesday 1 July 2015.

 

The award was initiated three years ago to mark the centenary of the birth of Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill, Speaker of the US House of Representatives and a key contributor to the Irish Peace Process.

 

The Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award is awarded on an annual basis to a selected member of the broad Irish diaspora in recognition of achievements in their own field and of the contribution they have made to Ireland and its diaspora.

 

Previous recipients of the award were Niall O'Dowd, Editor of the Irish Voice and Irish Central in 2012, Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana in 2013 and Senator Therese Murray President of the Massachusetts Senate who received the award last year, 2014.

 

Profile

T.P. O’Neill (1912-1994) was an Irish American Politician (1926-1987) and Speaker (Leader) of the American House of Representatives (1977-1987).

 

Over a long political life he achieved great improvements in the lives of not alone his fellow Americans not least less privileged in America generally.

 

His maternal grandmother Eunice (Unity) Fullerton was born in 1850 in Sleadrin, outside Buncrana, Co Donegal and his grandfather was born in Clonmany.

 

In 1991 President George Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom – America’s highest civilian award, which is presented for especial meritorious contributions to the national interests of America and World peace.

 

Speaker O’Neill used his influential position as Speaker to play a key and indeed a pivotal role in bringing about peace in Ireland.

 

He played a key role in the establishment of the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) which since 1985 has paid out millions of pounds/euro to projects in Northern Ireland and the six border counties in the Republic.

 

Why did the Tip O’Neill Awards Start?

 

To honour the legacy of Tip O’Neill

In recognition of the achievements of the Diaspora

To promote County Donegal

In celebration of our Heritage and Culture

With a goal of uniting Community and Diaspora

 

Buncrana Town Council decided in June 2011 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Tip O’Neill the following year, 2012. The Council decided that the best way to celebrate the life and achievements of one of Inishowen’s most famous descendants was to present an award in his honour.  Towards this end they entered into a partnership with Donegal County Council.  The award is now organized by Donegal County Council working through the Tip O’Neill Diaspora Award Committee.

 

This year’s award ceremony takes place on Friday, September 25 in the Inishowen Gateway Hotel.

 

Other events over the weekend will include the Tip O’Neill Diaspora Lecture by Prof Rónan Fanning on Saturday, September 26 in the Sliabh Sneacht Centre, Drumfries and the Inishowen Schools Diaspora competition in same venue on Sunday, September 26.

 

For more information visit www.irishdiasporaaward.com

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