Global Citizen Award

Celebrating an outstanding individual,who inspires and empowers others in the quest for a better world.

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The Finalists!

Joe Murray, AFRI

Joe was born in Longford as one of eight children.  Growing up, he was inspired by his parents’ kindness, generosity and concern for others. Having studied in Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Joe got involved with Afri in 1980 and has worked with Afri since 1982, apart from a ‘year out’ in 1989 when I worked as part of the UN’s Operation Lifeline Sudan.  

Joe always wanted to devote himself to working for a fairer and more just world. The magnificence of our planet and our universe is a constant source of wonder to him – which makes the scandal of poverty, homelessness, forced migration, war and climate change all the more obscene.

Joe would like to thank his wife, Mary Lou, and their children Aine, Diarmuid, Eoghan and Oisin, for their support.

How is Joe a Global Citizen?

For many decades Joe has been a consistent advocate and educator on issues of justice, the environment, wrongful detention and other human rights issues. The campaigns Joe has been involved in include the Dunnes’ Stores Strike against apartheid in 1984 – where he witnessed the remarkable courage, commitment and international solidarity shown by young people; the East Timor Ireland solidarity Campaign led by Tom Hyland, which is an example of how one person can inspire so many others and be part of such an extraordinary outcome; and the community in Erris North Mayo in resisting Big Oil.

How has he inspired others?

Through the annual Afri walk for the past 30 yrs in Ireland where past wrongs are highlighted Joe has inspired people of all ages and many nationalities to walk together to create a better future. Joe is proud to have been involved in organising 29 of the 30 Afri Famine walks in Doolough as well as 25 Féile Bríde events and 10 Hedge Schools.

How has he included and empowered others?

Through the Afri walks and also through the imaginative Féile Bríde event which includes speakers musicians and interactive workshops for all age groups. An event inspired by history and shaping future work.

Bobby McCormack, Development Perspectives

Bobby Mc Cormack is the co-founder and Director of Development Perspectives (, which is a Development NGO based in Drogheda, Co. Louth.  Bobby has been directly involved in Development Education since 2006 and before that was involved in non-formal learning at home and abroad for 7 years.

Bobby has worked endlessly since 2006 to raise awareness of the importance of Development Education. Bobby has offered so many individuals across Ireland an opportunity to develop both personally and within their career.

How is Bobby a Global Citizen?

Bobby Mc Cormack is a Global Citizen because of his commitment to change. Bobby spends so much of his own personal time creating space and opportunity to involve all members of the community (many of which are generally forgotten about) in the discussions which we need to have. Bobby has supported so many people in pursuing their dreams and creating projects which we believe in. He has mentored so many of us to continue.

How has he inspired others?

Bobby has inspired so many to get involved in Global Citizenship Education. He has opened the minds off so many people on issues such as poverty, inequality and climate change. Bobby has created so many platforms for people to get involved in creating change within their communities. 

How has he included and empowered others?

Bobby has initiated many projects which empower and include all - one of these is IgyNth which empowers and includes young unemployed individuals in creating their own projects/social businesses. 

Plan International Ireland's Youth Advisory Panel

Plan International Ireland Youth Advisory Panel was established in 2016 and is made up of a group of 10 young people aged 16-21 from all over Ireland who are passionate about international development.

  • They are the voice of young people at Plan International Ireland.  

  • Act as Ambassadors by speaking at events and campaigning for child rights with a focus on girls.

  • Develop skills through development education workshops and trainings.

  • Take collective action with other Plan International YAP’s across the world.

How are YAP Global Citizens?

Plan International Ireland's YAP is made up 16-21 year olds who are passionate and enthusiastic about creating awareness among their peers and the public about Global Development Issues. They are dedicated to working with Plan to achieve their vision 'to strive for a just world that advances children's rights and equality for girls'.

How have they inspired others?

The YAP are continuously inspiring Plan Ireland staff with their motivation and eagerness to act in solidarity with YAPs in our National and Country offices.

How have they included and empowered others?

During the month of June and July Irish YAP worked in solidarity with young people in Malawi to raise awareness about child marriage and a loop hole in its Constitution that permitted such practice. 

They held a short street “action” that collected 4,000 signatures and these were presented in solidarity to the Malawian YAP and submitted at a constitutional conference in Malawi. More recently they met with MEP’s in Brussels to present our ‘Educate a Girl, Employ a Woman, Empower a Nation’ campaign which seeks for further investment by governments toward education and ask for more transparency on data for the progress of SDG 5. 

The Judges!

Razan Ibraheem is a Syrian born journalist. She came over to Ireland to do her MA (ELT) at the University of Limerick. The escalating violence in her country made her seek stay on in Ireland. She works as a journalist in a leading social media news agency, Storyful. Her deep sorrow for the tragic situation in Syria made her volunteer to go to Greece to help refugees last year. The people she met and the stories she heard from Syrian refugees there changed her perspective in life. She became an activist fighting for human rights and the rights of refugees, especially women and children.

Razan is a regular contributor to various newspaper articles and current events programmes on Irish radio and TV, endeavouring to explain the intricacies of Middle East politics to the Irish public. She gave a speech with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Last year she was invited by the UN to a high-level meeting on global responsibility sharing through pathways for admission of Syrian refugees. She has also been involved in projects with RTE, Amnesty International, Brighter Futures and Immigration Council. Razan was rewarded the International Woman of the Year by the Irish Tatler.

This category was also judged internally by Suzanne Keatinge.