The Arab Irish Chamber of commerce were among the lead sponsors of the inaugural Irish Red Cross Humanitarian awards ceremony held in the Clayton hotel Dublin on November 24th 2018.
Dr. Niall Holohan and Clare Holohan
AICC chairman Dr. Niall Holohan was among the distinguished judging panel. The protection of human rights and support for humanitarian relief efforts have always been priority issues for him throughout his career of forty years in the Diplomatic Service.
Ahmad Younis, Aoibheann O’Brien and Iseult Ward from foodcloud and Pat Carey
The AICC sponsored the Irish Red Cross innovation for change award, an award specifically designed to recognise those who have developed and implemented a solution to a current humanitarian issue. Secretary-General and CEO Ahmad Younis presented this award to FoodCloud which distributes surplus food to charities and community groups. The Irish Red Cross said the organisation had diverted thousands of tonnes of food from landfill and helped ensure that good food goes to those who need it.
Homeless campaigner Alice Leahy was named as humanitarian of the year at the awards ceremony. Ms Leahy was recognised for her lifetime of dedication to helping society’s most disadvantaged people, said Pat Carey, Irish Red Cross chairman.
“She has developed an unrivalled understanding of the needs of those on the margins of society and during every day of her working life she has implemented practical measures to help combat social exclusion,” Mr Carey added. Ms Leahy, director and co-founder of the Alice Leahy Trust - a support centre for homeless people - has been working to secure better services for vulnerable people since the mid-1970s.
Pat Hume, the wife of former SDLP leader John Hume was also presented with a lifetime achievement award in recognition of her decades of public service to the people of Derry. Mrs Hume worked alongside her husband from the beginning of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Members of the Irish Defence Forces
The Irish Defence Forces received a special honour in recognition of the extraordinary humanitarian work of the men and women serving as peacekeepers overseas. 2018 marks the 60th Anniversary of Ireland’s first peacekeeping deployment in 1958. Since then, Ireland have maintained the longest unbroken service on the front line of peace with over 70,000 individual tours of duty completed by the men and women of Óglaigh na hÉireann.
Students from Tullamore College
Students at Tullamore College who campaigned to revoke the deportation order of their friend Nonso Moujeke were also recognised at the Irish Red Cross Humanitarian Award with its student initiative award. The Offaly teenager was facing deportation to Nigeria earlier this year despite having lived in Ireland since he was two years old. The Department of Justice confirmed last month that its deportation order had been revoked and the Tullamore resident had been given permission to remain in the State.
In its citation, the Irish Red Cross said the students’ social media campaign and petition to reverse the decision secured more than 22,000 signatures and attracted local and national media coverage.“The school galvanised not just the local community, but their voice was heard on an international stage as they received messages of support from all over the world,” said the charity.
Journalist Maggie O’Kane
Guardian journalist Maggie O’Kane was named as winner of the Irish Red Cross journalism excellence award for her work highlighting injustice around the world. In recent times, she has helped establish an independent charity charged with the abandonment of female genital mutilation worldwide by 2030. As well as her ongoing journalism and film work, she now trains young journalists across Africa.
Aviva was named as winner of its “corporate impact category” for facilitating its employees to contribute their time and skills to local communities.
Humanitarian of the Year
Winner – Alice Leahy
Finalists – Mark Mullan, Emma Mhic Mhathúna (In Memory)
Journalism Excellence Award
Winner – Maggie O’Kane
Finalists – Katie Hannon, Shaunagh Connaire
Student Initiative Award
Winner – Students of Tullamore College
Finalists - Niveta Ramakrishnan, Jessie Clohisey
Innovation for Change Award
Winner – FoodCloud
Finalists – Ó Cualann, Tech for Good Dublin
Corporate Impact Award
Winner - Aviva
Finalists – Fleming Medical, Amgen
Lifetime Achievement Award
Irish Defence Forces
Orla Treacy AICC, Mr. Abdulaziz Aldriss former Ambassador of Saudi Arabia and Ruth Spain AICC