Image Section

Announcement of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards 2024 Awardees

This years recipients of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards were announced yesterday (4th July 2024) at a special event hosted by Donegal County Council in the Inishowen Innovation Hub in Buncrana.

Caroleann Gallagher

Arranmore Island native Caroleann Gallagher, US based Billy Higgins and investor and entrepreneur David McCourt have been named as the 2024 recipients of this prestigious award which recognises those who have excelled in their chosen field whilst honouring their contribution to Ireland and its Diaspora. 

Caroleann Gallagher who grew up on Arranmore Island and is now based in Chicago, has excelled in her career in law and in recent years launched The Coogan Gallagher Scholarship, for Leaving Cert students from the Gairmscoil in Arranmore which sees them receiving €3,000 to assist them as the embark on their new life after school.

Billy Higgins

Billy Higgins was born and raised in South Boston Mass USA, and is a businessman and community leader who is renowned for his charitable endeavours and the founder of the Southill Childrens Fund in Boston in 1985. 

He has done immense work in supporting the education of children with special needs both in Boston and Ireland and has donated to the Patient Social Fund of the Ballaghderg Pre-School for Children with special needs in Donegal and has continued to support the school and its work for many years.

David McCourt

David McCourt is the founder and Chairman of Granahan McCourt Capital and the Chairman of National Broadband Ireland. National Broadband Ireland is currently working in partnership with the Irish Government in the largest Public Private Partnership in European telecoms to deliver the country’s National Broadband Plan.

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora award was first initiated in 2012 as a means of commemorating the centenary of the birth of the late Tip O’Neill who served as speaker of the US House of Representatives.

Nicholas Crossan

His maternal grandparents were native to County Donegal. Tip’s son Tommy O’Neill, alongside his wife Shelly O’Neill, return home to Donegal each year for the awards ceremony.

Speaking at todays announcement chairman of the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award Committee Nicholas Crossan said: “I am very proud to be announcing the awardees for the prestigious Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Award. We in Donegal continue to see the benefits of this fantastic initiative as we continue to build and develop the strong links with our Diaspora throughout the world.”

John G McLaughlin

Chief Executive of Donegal County Council John G McLaughlin said “our diaspora and their connection to Donegal is a vital part of our global Irish identity we are dedicated to continuing to work to further develop our links abroad and continue to build strong global connections for the betterment of Donegal.

It is my honour to welcome the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awardees to Donegal for 2024 and to congratulate David McCourt, Caroleann Gallagher and Billy Higgins on their successful careers and achievements.”

Cllr Niamh Kennedy

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards has evolved into a celebration that is a key event in the Donegal calendar of events.  Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Cllr Niamh Kennedy announced the other events leading up to this year’s Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards including Love Donegal Day on the 25th September, Disrupt by the Sea on 26th September and an audience with Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awardees at Ulster University Derry the on the morning of the 27th September.

Cathaoirleach Cllr Niamh Kennedy said “the Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards, Love Donegal Day and other supporting events continue to showcase Donegal as the very best place to live, work, invest and do business” she concluded by “congratulating this year’s awardees on their achievements and contributions in their fields”. 

The Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards ceremony will take place on Friday, 27th September, at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana, County Donegal. 


Tickets for the awards ceremony are available for sale now via EventBrite by clicking

Stay in Touch. Sign up for updates, news and events.

Visit Donegal website use cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details about cookies and how to manage them see our cookie policy