British solicitor Gareth Peirce hailed with Irish Abroad award
British solicitor and human rights activist Gareth Peirce, who represented the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six during a career of more than 30 years, is among those who have been honoured with the Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad 2015.
The award was presented by President Michael D Higgins to Ms Peirce at a ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin last night, where the work of exceptional people who contribute to Ireland and to Irish communities abroad was recognised.
The awards are organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with nominations made by Irish communities abroad through Ireland’s embassy network.
There were a total of ten people recognised at the ceremony, with Ms Peirce recognised in the “Peace, Reconciliation and Development” category for her “dedication and commitment to obtaining justice for several Irish people living in Britain who were wrongfully convicted”.
Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Charles Flanagan said: “I am delighted that the achievements of these ten remarkable people will be acknowledged by the President tonight.
“Collectively, they have helped to build and expand our reputation around the globe. Their service and commitment to this country is a shining example to us all and I am delighted that they are being honoured by the President in such a fitting manner.
“This is the fourth year of the Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and it is an important acknowledgement by the President, on behalf of all of the people of Ireland, of the significant contribution of those honoured to Ireland and to Irish communities abroad.”