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President to visit Donegal for Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards

The Tip O'Neill Irish Diaspora Award organising committee at the launch. Photo: Clive Wasson

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award organising committee at the launch. Photo: Clive Wasson

AN TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has welcomed the announcement of Senator Therese Murray, President of the Massachusetts State Senate as recipient of the 2014 Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award.

Congratulating Senator Murray, the Taoiseach acknowledged her leadership role in Massachusetts and her ongoing interest in and support for economic development in Ireland. The award will be presented to Senate President Murray by President Michael D. Higgins at the awards ceremony which will take place in Buncrana County Donegal in September.

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The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award was established on the centenary of the birth of Speaker Thomas P. Tip O’Neill in 2012. It was established to recognise the achievements of members of the Irish Diaspora in their chosen fields and to celebrate the global impact of Irish people everywhere and their maintenance of links with Ireland.

Senator Murray has proven herself to be a worthy recipient by carving out a very successful career in the predominantly male world of, not just American politics, but politics in general. She has been a champion of Welfare causes, mental health, children’s welfare and health, and the elderly. She has been the driving force behind many very worthy State reforms in Massachusetts and has always maintained her close links with the country of her heritage.

A champion of the people, Senator Murray is a politician with a very large heart that has remained true to the traditional Irish values that were instilled in her from both her parents. Her father’s people hail from County Cork, and her mother’s from Limerick and Dublin. She will be attending the annual prize giving ceremony and the associated calendar of events which are held each year in Buncrana, in recognition of the Tip O’Neill’s Donegal roots and his impact on world affairs.

“I am humbled and honored to be receiving the 3rd Tip O’Neill Diaspora Award,” said Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray. 

“Having the opportunity to further strengthen and create economic and academic links between Massachusetts and in the Northwest of Ireland not only solidifies our historic ties, but also allows us to build a new bridge of cutting edge technology and innovation.  It is these new connections that will help spur discovery and development, provide inspiration and opportunity, and move Massachusetts and the Island of Ireland forward in this global economy. Where there is opportunity there is hope and where there is hope there is peace.  Working together, we will achieve great things.”

Donegal County Manager, Seamus Neely stated, “The importance of our Diaspora to Donegal and to Ireland cannot be overstated and we are committed to continuing to work to consolidate and further develop our links in this regard. The enthusiasm, commitment, and work ethic of our Diaspora has ingratiated them to their adopted nations, but we will continue to consider them as merely ‘being away for a while’, regardless of the generations that may have passed since.”

Previous recipients have been renowned journalist and social commentator and Editor of the Irish Voice and Irish Central, Niall O’Dowd (2012) and Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana (2013).

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This recognition and celebration of the Irish Diaspora has proven to be hugely successful and cements the links between Irish people throughout the world for mutual benefit. It is hugely important that these two cohorts of people maintain these strong bonds and that we can all take pride in the achievements of our Diaspora for many years to come.

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