The Irish government has announced plans for a new service award which will recognize the contribution of Irish men and women living abroad.

The new awards will honor mainly Irish citizens as well as people of Irish descent who have made a sustained and distinguished service to Ireland or Irish communities abroad. 

An expert panel based in Ireland will review all nominations before recommending 10 winners for the national accolade. It is expected that the first awards will be presented by Irish President Michael D. Higgins towards the end of this year.

“This initiative allows Ireland to give special recognition to those who have given distinguished service to Ireland or the Irish community abroad,” Michael Collins, Irish ambassador to the U.S. said in a statement.

“It is obviously important that we do so, in view of the extraordinary contribution of our global family and the interest, generosity and devotion of so many members of that family towards Ireland and its future and towards our people, at home and abroad.”

The Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C. is now accepting nominations for the award from areas of achievement such as Irish community support, arts, culture, sport, charitable works, business, education and peace and reconciliation.

Nominations for the Presidential Distinguished Service Award should be forwarded to Press and Information Section, Embassy of Ireland, 2234 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20008.

eadline for application is Monday, May 21. Nominations may also be sent by email to

Each submission should state the category under which the nomination is being made. In order for consideration, the nominee must reside outside of Ireland.

Other eligibility requirements include the following: The nominee must have rendered distinguished service to the nation and/or its reputation abroad.

The nominee must also have actively and demonstrably contributed to Ireland and/or its international reputation and/or Irish communities abroad in at least one of the categories outlined above.

The nominee must 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 five years.

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