Northern Ireland news

Liam Neeson and John de Chastelain to receive Irish diaspora award

Actor Liam Neeson has received an Irish diaspora award. Picture by Hugh Russell

HOLLYWOOD star Liam Neeson and former decommissioning chief John de Chastelain are to receive special Irish diaspora awards.

The Republic's minister for foreign affairs, Simon Coveney, has announced a list of recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad for 2017.

Those recognised also include Nobel Prize-winning scientist William Campbell, from Ramelton, Co Donegal, aid worker Mary T Murphy, from Cork, and London-based artist Bernard Canavan.

The awards, which have been running since 2012, were set up to recognise the contribution of members of the Irish diaspora.

Mr Coveney said those on the list "have provided a sustained service and commitment to Ireland and Irish communities abroad, and it is fitting that they have been selected to be honoured by the president".

"The ceremony remains a very important opportunity to acknowledge those who have helped to build and expand our reputation across the globe," he said.

"The diverse contributions of these individuals extends across six different categories, and the impact of their work and dedication is evident across a number of countries."

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