Pauline Turley and Aidan Connolly of the Irish Arts Center in New York are among the winners of this year's Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.
The arts center duo are winners in the "Arts, Culture, and Sport" category.
Both have been to the fore over the years in bringing to fruition the expansion of the center in Manhattan to the point that it now ranks as not just a front rank New York or U.S. space for Irish arts and culture, but indeed a global one.
A third U.S.-based award winner is Dr. Howard Keeley in the "Business and Economic Development" category.
Dr. Keeley directs Georgia Southern University’s Center for Irish Research and Teaching. In addition, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Irish literature.
In all, this year's awards are being presented to thirteen individuals in nine countries.
The other winners are: Dr. Beatriz Kopschitz Bastos, Brazil, for Arts, Culture, and Sport; Mr. Philip Treacy, Britain, Arts, Culture, and Sport; Mr. Fritz Senn, Switzerland, Arts, Culture, and Sport; Ms. Caoilfhionn Gallagher K.C., Britain, in the "Charitable Works and Advocacy" category; Dr. Stanley Quek, Singapore, Charitable Works and Advocacy; Dr. Patricia Lewis, Britain, in the "Education, Science, and Innovation" category; Ms. Maria Doyle-Cuche, France, in the "Inclusion and Equality" category; Ms. Sinéad El Sibai, United Arab Emirates, in the "Irish Community Support" category; Mr. Séamus Sullivan, Australia, Irish Community Support, and Fr. Gabriel Dolan, Kenya, in the "Peace, Reconciliation, and Development" category.
The awards, according to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, "are managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and a High Level Panel was established to make recommendations to Government. This Panel includes: Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of the Taoiseach; Áras an Uachtaráin and four representatives from the non-Government sector. Nominations were made by Irish communities abroad through Ireland’s network of Diplomatic Missions."