Senator Therese Murray, President of the Massachusetts State Senate has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award.

The award will be presented to Senate President Murray by President Michael D. Higgins at the awards ceremony which will take place in Buncrana, County Donegal, in September.

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award was established on the centenary of the birth of   Speaker Thomas P. Tip O’Neill in 2012. It was established to recognize the achievements of members of the Irish Diaspora in their chosen fields and to celebrate the global impact of Irish people everywhere and their maintenance of links with Ireland.

Senator Murray is a worthy award winner as she has built a very successful career in the predominantly male world of politics in the United States. She has been a champion of the issues of mental health, children’s welfare and health, and the elderly and has been the driving force behind many State reforms in Massachusetts.

A champion of the people, Senator Murray is a politician that has stayed close to the traditional Irish values that were instilled in her from both her parents. Her father’s family are from County Cork, and her mother’s family have roots in Limerick and Dublin.

“I am humbled and honored to be receiving the 3rd Tip O’Neill Diaspora Award,” said Murray.  “Having the opportunity to further strengthen and create economic and academic links between Massachusetts and in the Northwest of Ireland not only solidifies our historic ties, but also allows us to build a new bridge of cutting edge technology and innovation.  It is these new connections that will help spur discovery and development, provide inspiration and opportunity, and move Massachusetts and the Island of Ireland forward in this global economy.  Where there is opportunity there is hope and where there is hope there is peace.  Working together, we will achieve great things.”

Donegal County Manager, Seamus Neely stated, “The importance of our Diaspora to Donegal and to Ireland cannot be overstated and we are committed to continuing to work to consolidate and further develop our links in this regard. The enthusiasm, commitment, and work ethic of our Diaspora has ingratiated them to their adopted nations, but we will continue to consider them as merely ‘being away for a while’, regardless of the generations that may have passed since.”

Previous recipients have been Editor of the Irish Voice and IrishCentral, Niall O’Dowd (2012) and Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana (2013).