ICONIC Irish hat designer Philip Treacy is among 13 people to be honoured with a Presidential Distinguished Service Award for his achievements as an Irishman outside of his homeland.
The annual awards are presented by the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins each year in recognition of “the service given to this country, or to Irish communities abroad, by those who live outside Ireland”.
Milliner Treacy, who was born in Galway but has been based in London for decades, is one of 13 who received the 2023 awards.
Over the years the Irishman has cemented his place in British society as the go-to hat designer for the royal family.
The Ahascragh native made 36 hats for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011; 20 for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in May 2018 and a further 20 for Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding in October of the same year.
Treacy also designed the golden-wreath-inspired headpiece Camilla Parker Bowles wore on her marriage to Prince Charles in 2005.
He was honoured for his contribution to arts, culture and sports and was in Dublin to receive his award at a special ceremony held in Áras an Uachtaráin this week.
Barrister Caoilfhionn Gallagher, who is based at Doughty Street Chambers in London, was also presented with an award, honouring her charitable works and advocacy.
The Dubliner, who specialises in human rights law, has acted in many of the leading human rights cases in Britain in recent years, including acting for bereaved families and survivors of the 7/7 London bombings and the Hillsborough disaster.
In 2020 Gallagher led the all–Irish, all–female legal team which successfully appealed against an anti-Irish court ruling barring the family of Margaret Keane from inscribing a Gaelic phrase on their mother’s gravestone in Coventry.
London-based Dr Patricia Mary Lewis, who is the Research Director for International Security at Chatham House, was also among the recipients.
Having published and spoken widely on aspects of conflict prevention, international security, science, cyber security and arms control, Dr Lewis was awarded for her services to education, science, and innovation.
After meeting all of the award recipients at the Dublin ceremony, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said: “I was delighted to meet the thirteen recipients of the 2023 Presidential Distinguished Service Awards.
“Each has in their own way has made a notable contribution in their particular areas of endeavour.
“In doing so, they are representative of the many millions of Irish people who have over the years had such a positive impact in so many different parts of the world and continue to do so.
“It serves as a reminder to all of us of the capacity of diaspora and immigrant communities to make a hugely positive contribution to their adopted communities.”
Ireland’s Diaspora Minister, Sean Fleming, TD, added: “The Presidential Distinguished Service Awards is an annual opportunity for us to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s diaspora.
“Irish communities all over the world enhance Ireland’s global reputation by their actions and by their commitment to tolerance, inclusion and to justice and equality for all.
“These are values which we continue to hold very dear here in Ireland.”
The full list of PDSA 2023 recipients:
Aidan Connolly and Pauline Turley – Arts, Culture, and Sport (USA)
Dr Beatriz Kopschitz Xavier Bastos – Arts, Culture, and Sport (Brazil)
Philip Treacy – Arts, Culture, and Sport (Britain)
Dr Fritz Senn – Arts, Culture, and Sport (Switzerland)
Dr Howard Keeley – Business and Economic Development (USA)
Caoilfhionn Gallagher K.C. – Charitable Works and Advocacy (Britain)
Dr Stanley Quek – Charitable Works and Advocacy (Singapore)
Dr Patricia Mary Lewis – Education, Science, and Innovation (Britain)
Ms Maria Doyle – Inclusion and Equality (France)
Ms Sinéad El Sibai – Irish Community Support (UAE)
Mr Seamus Sullivan – Irish Community Support (Australia)
Fr Gabriel Dolan – Peace, Reconciliation, and Development (Kenya)