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1st Dec 2018 - Sr. Mary Killeen Receives Award

Updated: Dec 2, 2018

Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Awards for the

Irish Abroad - 2018 Recipient

Sr Mary Killeen for Peace, Reconciliation and Development





The Ten Recipients for 2018

The Ten Recipients for 2018


The Irish President’s House [Aras an Uachtarian]

President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins addresses the recipients

The Principal Secretary, in the presence of the Irish President – Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) – Leo Varadkar, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister – Simon Coveney T.D., and the Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Mr Ciaran Cannon, T.D., - gives an account on the works of the recipients to all the guests.

Sr. Mary receives her award for Peace, Reconciliation and Development in Kenya for over 40 years

Sr. Mary receives her award for Peace, Reconciliation and Development in Kenya for over 40 years

All the recipients with their special design awards

The Presidential Distinguished Service Award is in recognition of your sustained and significant contribution to Irish people, Irish descendants and Irish communities abroad. The award symbolizes an open door to Ireland and its people and represents a message of appreciation for the services which you have provided to our nation.



This award has been designed by Spear Product Design. The creative team led by Marta Masnou worked tirelessly to find a design inspiration to suitably fit the significance of the award and the occasion. The inspiration for the award is an open door to Ireland and its people and to represent a welcoming appreciation for the services provided to our nation.


The fused coloured glass elements represent the Irish landscape and the woods used in the piece are all indigenous to Ireland and have a rich history. The wood used in this award is Elm and comes from Lisnavagh Co. Carlow.


In Celtic mythology Elm trees were associated with the Underworld. The tree stood at the crossroads leading to the fairy world, protecting burial mounds and aiding the dead souls passage to the Underworld. People also looked to the elm for medicinal cures. The inner bark was especially efficacious when chewed or boiled into a liquor to treat colds and sore throats, while the boiled bark was also used to treat burns.



Sr. Mary Killeen, Kenya’s Ambassador to Ireland, Hon. Richard A. Opembe and Sr. Anne Itotia

Members of the Killeen Family with the President’s wife Sabina Higgins

Killeen Guests with Sr. Mary and President Higgins

STOP PRESS - Sr. Bridie Stephens advises that Sr. Mary Killeen will be attending Coolock (Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire) on the 27th December 2018 to meet and thank everyone personally for the considerable support that they have provided her in her work.

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