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Breege McDaid receives the Presidential Distinguished Service Award

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Irish Community Care’s Director Breege McDaid is one of this year’s recipients of The Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad

  • Breege McDaid with President Higgins
    Breege McDaid with President Higgins

Irish Community Care has announced that it is delighted that Charity Director Breege McDaid is one of this year’s recipients of The Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad, which recognises the contribution of members of the global Irish diaspora. 

Presenting the Awards at Áras an Uachtarán President Michael D Higgins said:
‘Through the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, we have an opportunity to recognise the place and significance of the migratory experience and within it those who have shown remarkable courage and solidarity with both their fellow Irish and those with whom they have made a life and a contribution. They are Irish out of Ireland who have expanded the frontiers of human knowledge, and, through their thoughts, their words and their actions, elevated the standing and reputation of Irish people throughout the world and enhanced our fragile, shared humanity’

Recognising Breege’s contribution, the President said:

“Emigration has been for some a cold and lonely experience, one marked by loneliness and sadness. Many of our people, we must never forget, have historically faced challenges and suffered exploitation in the labour market. We must accept the responsibilities of inclusive truth that this places on us.

“Those challenges have so often been overcome by collective action, and solidarity both within the Irish community and wider society, a solidarity that was and is so often sustained by unwavering and untiring community leaders, so may I thank Breege McDaid for all that she has done for our people in that most Irish of English cities, Liverpool. In the days between Christmas Day and the 8th January 1847 147,000 Irish presented for poor law relief. The Irish in Liverpool went from 419,256 in 1841 to 806,000 in 1861’.

Breege has worked for over 30 years with Irish Community Care and said it was an honour and a privilege to have been part of an inclusive and proactive organisation whose mission is to do the very best we can to support people through difficult times, to promote equality and justice and to celebrate successes and achievements. 

In accepting the award on behalf of everyone at ICC; Breege said ICC’s success is based on the hard work, commitment and tenacity of all involved including staff, trustees, volunteers, partner organisations and community members whose strength and resilience in facing life’s many challenges is truly inspirational.

Recipients of 2018 Awards are:

  • Arts, Culture and Sport William Kennedy (US) Edna O’Brien (Britain)
  • Business and Education Munira Hamud Mutran (Brazil) John L. Lahey (US)
  • Charitable Works Bridget Tighe (Palestine)
  • Irish Community Support Tom Power (deceased) (Australia) Edward J. Ward (US) Breege McDaid (Britain)
  • Peace, Reconciliation and Development Mary Killeen (Kenya)
  • Science, Technology and Innovation Margaret Murnane (US)

Read the text of President’s speech or alternatively watch a video.