Two Mountcharles women have been honoured by President Michael D. Higgins at the Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony in Áras an Uachtaráin.

Mary Ellen McGroarty, the Director of the United Nations World Food Programme in Afghanistan, and Paralympic cyclist Katie-George Dunlevy, whose father is from Mountcharles both received awards for their work abroad.

Katie-George Dunlevy
Mary Ellen McGroarty

The Presidential Distinguished Service Awards are presented by the President every year, in recognition of the service given to this country, or to Irish communities abroad, by those who live outside Ireland.

Announcing the recipients of the award earlier this year, the  Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D. said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity once again to formally recognise the achievements of high-achieving members of our diaspora and their contribution to Ireland and to Irish communities abroad.  Their service and commitment is a shining example to us all and I am delighted that they have been selected to be honoured by President Michael D. Higgins in such a fitting manner.”

The ceremony took place on Thursday at Áras an Uachtaráin.