Nominations now open for Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards 2021

Major event in Donegal calendar

Nominations now open for Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards 2021

Thomas P. O'Neill III, the son of former US Speaker of the House Thomas 'Tip' O'Neill, Jr

In spite of the challenges posed by the global pandemic, Donegal County Council is continuing to celebrate and forge links with the Irish Diaspora with a unique awards ceremony which takes place in Donegal every year.

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards nomination process is now open for 2021. The awards recognise groups or individuals that have excelled in their field, while honouring their contribution to Ireland and its Diaspora. Nominations can be made at and the closing date for nominations is 31st May 2021.

Like so many events last year, the 2020 Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award ceremony was postponed as the world grappled with Covid-19.

Running since 2012, the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award is presented to a chosen member/s of the Irish diaspora in recognition of their achievements. Nominations are welcome from across the globe and across a range of sectors, including business, commerce, industry, education, politics, finance and sport.

The awards ceremony is an initiative of the broader Donegal Diaspora project and has become a highlight of Donegal County Council’s calendar of events.

Councillor Nicholas Crossan, Chairman of the Tip O’ Neill advisory group says it’s a great opportunity to recognise the achievements of our Diaspora around the world: “There are so many people of Irish and Donegal ancestry in the worldwide Diaspora who deserve to be recognised in the country of their ancestors; this award is about acknowledging the achievements of those individuals. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate exemplary individuals or groups who have made a significant difference in Irish communities around the world and I would like to encourage people to nominate someone who has achieved something special so we can acknowledge their hard work and dedication, which may otherwise go unnoticed.”

Adding to this, Michael Tunney, Head of Enterprise Donegal said: “The Tip O‘Neill Irish Diaspora Award is a great way of fostering relationships with our Diaspora around the world. The Donegal Diaspora Project works to promote and engage Donegal’s global community, and this work has never been more important in the past year, keeping us connected, while the pandemic has forced us to stay apart.

"The project links people from all parts of the world to Donegal and to each other, creating networks of mutual interest and benefit. Not only does the Tip O‘Neill Irish Diaspora Award recognise and honour people who have excelled in their field, it also gives us the opportunity to highlight to our Diaspora the ongoing opportunities and developments in the county. This is particularly important now as more of our people are looking at the possibility of returning to live and work in Donegal.”

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award was initiated in 2012 as a means of commemorating the centenary of the birth of the late Tip O’Neill who was a liberal Democrat and an influential member of the US House of Representatives. His maternal grandparents were native to county Donegal and his legacy continues as his son Tommy O’Neill seeks to become the next US Ambassador to Ireland under the Biden administration.

Nominations for the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards close on 31st May 2021 and for more information please contact Joanne Kilmartin, Donegal Diaspora Executive on  

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