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The Irish Missionary Union's inaugural Award Ceremony was held on 27th November at City Hall, Dublin. Mrs. Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, hailed the "great and well-earned reputation" of Irish...

Tribute to missionaries

The Irish Missionary Union’s inaugural Award Ceremony was held on 27th November at City Hall, Dublin. Mrs. Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, hailed the “great and well-earned reputation” of Irish…

The Irish Missionary Union’s inaugural Award Ceremony was held on 27th November at City Hall, Dublin. Mrs. Sabina Higgins, wife of the Irish President, hailed the “great and well-earned reputation” of Irish missionaries as she addressed the returned missionaries. Each was presented with a medal depicting the IMU logo (pictured). Mrs Higgins told the gathering of 220 missionaries that they were “known in particular for the respect that they displayed towards the people they lived among and their culture.

The tireless work of the missionaries around the world in education, medicine and development work is something of which Ireland can be truly proud, and laid the foundation for Ireland’s present overseas aid and development cooperation programme.” Irish Jesuits who received the medal included Michael J. Kelly, Frank Woda, Jerry O’Connell, John Dooley and John O’Holohan; also (in absentia) Tony Farren, Tom McGivern, Frank Keenan and Joe Mallin.

Michael Kelly, still blushing from the recognition he received from his native Tullamore (reported in the last newsletter), was touched to receive a warm letter of congratulations from the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. At the foot of the typed page (which you can see here), Enda penned his own footnote: “Full of admiration for your contribution to our common humanity. EK”