President Higgins presented the annual Presidential Distinguished Service Awards to recipients for 2020 and 2021 on Thursday 2nd December 2021. Fr Kevin O'Hara, SPS was nominated for an Award in 2020 for his peace, reconciliation and development work in Nigeria. The presentation of Fr. Kevin’s Award was deferred until Thursday, 2nd December 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions last year. As Fr. Kevin did not travel home for the Award Ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin, his sister Ann Marie and her daughter Maeve accepted the Award on his behalf. The Irish Embassy in Nigeria interviewed him in Lagos prior to the Award ceremony.
“For four decades I have followed the path of hundreds of Irish men and women who laboured to bring education, health and the Christian faith to the people of Nigeria. I have been inspired by their courage and generosity of spirit. It is a privilege for me to accept this Award on behalf of all of these heroes of the faith.” Fr Kevin O’Hara SPS, Dec 2nd 2021