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Minister of State Ciarán Cannon, TD - Remarks for PDSA, Farmleigh

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have heard many fitting words already this evening and as Minister with responsibility for the Diaspora, I would like to formally add my own congratulations to this year’s recipients of the Presidential Distinguished Service Award. You are a remarkable group of individuals. It is an honour for my wife, Niamh, and I to share your company here tonight. I feel humbled by your achievements and once again I want to thank you. As we look across the globe in these challenging times, the footprints you have left in so many fields, give us the inspiration and confidence to take on the challenges we face. You make us all stand proud.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.

I think it is also fitting tonight to pay tribute to Mícheál O Suilleabháin, who sadly passed away recently. Mícheál, who hailed from Cork, performed on this stage for the 2013 Presidential Distinguished Service Awards.

Ar dheis de a anam dilis.

The future is also bright. We are very fortunate to have a young woman with an amazing voice give us a short performance here tonight. No doubt we will hear much more from her in the future.

I would like to introduce Sibéal Ní Chasaide and accompanying her, her father Odhrán. Odhrán, hailing from the beautiful Gweedore, is better known to many of you as a member of the famous traditional group, Na Casaidigh. Also accompanying Sibéal and her Father is guitarist, Michael O’Toole and harpist, Helen Lawlor.

Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention please for Sibéal Ní Chasaide.

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