The term 'Men of Action' is not to be used lightly. It means to face adversity head on, and battle whatever circumstance comes your way, emerging triumphant.

As they stood on the shores of Limerick, The Wild Geese did this. They were soldiers who fought with ferocity for the freedom of their country. Believing they had secured that freedom, they marched to the shores of Ireland with their heads held high. Waiting for them were ships bound for Europe and as they stepped into the uncertain, they seized their destinies.

Many people transcend their everyday experience and fall into this category. With each new generation there is a new legacy. But what does it mean today?

This month marks the inaugural Tip O'Neill Donegal Diaspora Award, which has been established to celebrate a member of the worldwide Irish diaspora who has achieved remarkable feats in his or her chosen field.

It was set up in honour of Tip O'Neill, whose maternal grandmother was born outside Buncrana, Co. Donegal and was part of the wave of Irish who emigrated to the United States.

Tip O'Neill worked hard and reached the highest levels of American politics, acting as Speaker of the American House of Representative for 10 years. Like The Wild Geese, he has inspired many generations to be the best at what they can be.

The recipient of the first award is US Irish-American journalist Niall O'Dowd, founder of the Irish Voice newspaper and Irish American magazine. He received the award on Friday (September 7th) in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, the ancestral home of Tip O'Neill.

‘Men of Action’ continue to rise every day and the Tip O'Neill award is just one way of recognising them.

Some are celebrated as the best in their field, such as NFL star Tom Brady, while others, like servicemen who put themselves on the line, pass under the radar but nevertheless share this Irish spirit. 

From scholars to adventurers, explorers to sportsmen, musicians to movie stars, it’s not difficult to find examples of 'Men of Action' in today's world. What do they share in common? The commitment and tenacity of The Wild Geese – the belief that boundaries are there to be broken.
As you read this, your own examples of 'Men of Action' will come to mind.

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