President Higgins presents Liam Neeson with Distinguished Service Award

Actor Liam Neeson has received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award from President Michael D. Higgins to honour his contribution to the country and his humanitarian work.

He received the honour at Áras an Uachtaráin this morning.

Liam Neeson with President of Ireland Michael D Higgins. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

The awards were originally presented last November but Neeson was unable to attend. President Higgins said he "more than deserves a special occasion himself."

The Presidential Distinguished Service Awards for the Irish Abroad highlight outstanding work by Irish people living overseas across a range of areas, from sport to science, charity or community support.

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina present Liam Neeson with a Distinguished Service for the Irish Abroad award at Aras an Uachtarain. Photo: Laura Hutton/PA Wire

Neeson received his award for his work helping to raise the profile Irish artists around the world, his strong personal support for a variety of initiatives to promote tourism to Ireland and his work with UNICEF.

President Higgins described Neeson as "a splendid Irishman abroad" and a "worthy recipient" of the award.

"The Irish family isn’t defined by national borders or territories," said President Higgins.

Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

"It’s defined by care, compassion, a shared culture and heritage, a common sense of responsibility, a consciousness of our historical experience and also the importance of Ireland contributing dynamically to a future that would be humane and more compassionate and more just.

"Liam Neeson qualifies by all of those criteria."

Photo: Maxwells

 

By Denise O’Donoghue

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