Today, two former executive directors of Trócaire will receive awards for their decades of service to the developing world.

Former director, Justin Kilcullen, is receiving a papal knighthood of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great. Justin retired from Trócaire in October 2013 after serving the organisation for 32 years. He was executive director for 20 years from 1993-2013. Prior to becoming executive director, Justin worked as Africa Programme Officer and also for a period in Laos. A qualified architect, Justin began working overseas in Tanzania before moving to Asia, specialising in the design and construction of refugee camps for Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees. He joined Trócaire in 1981 as Africa Programme Officer and later served as Trócaire representative in Laos. He is a past President of CIDSE, an international alliance of Catholic development organisations in Europe and North America.

Also today, on behalf of the whole Trócaire organisation, former executive director Éamonn Meehan, will receive an honorary Doctorate in Theology. Éamonn first joined Trócaire in 1991 as programme manager for the Southern Africa Region. In this role he managed the day-to-day running of Trócaire’s work in South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In 1996 he became head of the international division, responsible for Trócaire’s work overseas. This included the allocation of resources to development and humanitarian programmes and securing co-financing from the Irish government, the EU and others. In 2002 Éamonn was appointed deputy director and head of Trócaire’s Ireland division with responsibility for fundraising, marketing, communications, development education, policy and campaigns. Éamonn became executive director of Trócaire in October 2013. Originally from Kilmaley, County Clare, Éamonn holds a Masters in Education from Trinity College, Dublin. He has taught in Clane, County Kildare, Knocklyon in County Dublin and in Turkana in Kenya.

This honorary Doctorate will be granted to Trócaire in recognition of its continuing work for justice and peace in the developing world. Trócaire was established in 1973 and is the overseas development agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Caoimhe de Barra is the current chief executive of Trócaire. Caoimhe was appointed in October 2018. Bishop William Crean, Bishop of Cloyne, is chairman of Trócaire.

The vice-president of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, and Archbishop of Dublin, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will deliver a keynote address at tonight’s ceremony in Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth, on the theme ‘At the Service of Justice and Peace’.

ENDS