Minister Fleming attends the Tip O’Neill Annual Irish Diaspora Awards in Buncrana
Press release16 September 2023
Minister of State with responsibility for International Development and Diaspora, Sean Fleming TD has attended the Tip O’Neill Annual Irish Diaspora Award in Buncrana, Co Donegal.
The awards form part of the Donegal Diaspora Project in Donegal County Council and were initiated in 2012 on the centenary of the birth of Thomas P. Tip O’Neill. Speaker O’Neill, whose maternal grandparents hailed from the Inishowen Peninsula in Co Donegal, was an American Politician and Statesman who served as Speaker of the US House of Representatives from 1977 until 1987.
Minister Fleming said: “We as a country and Government are immensely proud of the Irish abroad and this is something we recognise every year, through our Presidential Distinguished Service Awards. Those who leave Ireland, sometimes by choice, more often out of necessity, never forgot home, just as those of us at home never forgot those who have left Ireland. As Minister for Diaspora, it is my responsibility to ensure that we don’t forget them and that is why I am truly honoured to attend the Tip O’Neill Annual Irish Diaspora Award celebrating the Donegal Irish Diaspora.
“To acknowledge the widely attributed Tip quote ‘all politics is local’. That is why it is so important for local initiatives to support and honour the achievements of their own. Our spirit of shared Irishness is something Irish people bring with them wherever they go. This spirit is something that Tip O’Neill embodied, never forgetting his roots and helping this island by enabling the dialogue that would help establish long term peace in Northern Ireland.
“I am sure that the three awardees who are being recognised for their contribution and success at the highest levels in the fields of medicine, society, and business, also embody this spirit while giving back to the most vulnerable people and communities in need. I would like to warmly congratulate, Professor William C. Campbell, Caroline McLaughlin and John T. Fries on this award.”
The Irish Government supports the Irish abroad through the Emigrant Support Programme. Over the last twenty years, the programme has provided over €220 million to more than 530 organisations in 40 countries. This supports the delivery of front line services and community care to Irish emigrants, particularly those who may be vulnerable and marginalised.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For 2023, there are three awardees are recognised for their contribution to Ireland and its Diaspora:
- Professor William C. Campbell, originally from Ramelton, County Donegal, received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015. (William Campbell’s sister-in-law Anne Campbell who will be accepting the award on his behalf as he is unfit to travel from the US, he will appear for the ceremony by video link).
- Caroline McLaughlin, originally from Buncrana, County Donegal. Caroline has lived in the Channel Islands, San Francisco, Australia and London. She has worked improving the lives of disadvantaged groups including women and students. She is a representative of the Irish diaspora community in the UK.
- John T. Fries, John’s father was born and raised in Kilmacrenan, County Donegal. He has had a successful business career spanning 24 years in the Tech industry. In recent years has been focused on philanthropic activities.