My Department recently commenced the process of seeking nominations for the 2013 Presidential Distinguished Service Awards for the Irish Abroad. Individuals abroad can make nominations through one of our diplomatic Missions. Nominees for this Award will be drawn from the following areas of achievement: Irish community support; Arts, culture and sport; charitable works, business and education, and peace, reconciliation and development.
In order to be eligible for consideration, nominees must be habitually resident outside the island of Ireland and are required to satisfy the following additional requirements: have rendered distinguished service to the nation and/or its reputation abroad; have actively and demonstrably contributed to Ireland and/or its international reputation and/or Irish communities abroad in at least one of the categories above; have a track record of sustained support and engagement with Ireland and/or its international reputation and/or Irish communities abroad over a period of not less than 5 years.
While the scheme is open to all persons living abroad, it is primarily aimed at Irish citizens, those entitled to Irish citizenship and persons of Irish descent, who have made a sustained and distinguished service to Ireland or Irish communities abroad.
A High Level Panel based in Ireland will consider the nominations received from abroad and will make recommendations to the Government in respect of no more than 10 individuals.
It is expected that the recipients of the 2013 Awards will be presented with them by the President in late 2013.