12 december 2018

The Dóchas Awards 2018 – honouring Irish heroes and leaders working for development, equality and justice – were presented at a ceremony in Dublin today, Wednesday, 5 December.

Awards were presented in four categories – a Lifetime Achievement Award, Global Citizen Award, Innovation Award, and Respect and Equality in Communications Award. Each category highlights a different area of work for Dóchas members as they work towards bringing about an end to global poverty and injustice.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mary Robinson, President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice, Chair of the Elders and former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in acknowledgement of her lifetime of work as an advocate and defender of human rights, climate justice and gender equality.

Dóchas Chair, Sharan Kelly, said: “It is an honour to present the Dóchas Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 to Mary Robinson, in acknowledgement of her lifetime of work as an advocate and defender of human rights, climate justice and gender equality. Across her career, she has empowered women, and fought to create a future of hope and equality for them, she has upheld democracy and human rights, and she has opened the world’s eyes to the injustices of climate change and the need for urgent climate action.”

The Global Citizen Award – celebrating an outstanding individual, who inspires and empowers others to work towards ending global poverty and injustice – was awarded to Éamonn Meehan, former Executive Director of Trócaire.

Éamonn Meehan worked for Trócaire in a variety of roles for 27 years prior to his recent retirement. He became Executive Director of Trócaire in October 2013 and led the organisation for five years before retiring in October 2018. In particular, he drove the organisation’s campaigning on issues such as climate change and Palestine, pushing for legislative action to address injustices.

Dóchas CEO, Suzanne Keatinge, said, “Over almost three decades, Éamonn championed development, equality and justice in his work with Trócaire. His dedication and inspirational work has opened the minds of people at home and abroad to the effects of poverty, injustice and climate change on vulnerable communities around the world, and mobilised citizens to take action on these issues. Éamonn is a true Global Citizen, and Dóchas is delighted to honour him with this award.”

The Respect and Equality in Communications Award celebrates an organisation that uses empowering images and messages in their communications that challenge stereotypes and are based on the values of respect, equality, solidarity and justice. It was awarded to Trócaire for their documentary ‘This Is Palestine’.

‘This Is Palestine’ tells the story of one of the world’s longest-running conflicts through the words of people affected by it. Featuring powerful testimonies from both Palestinians and Israelis, the documentary allows the voices of people in the region to guide viewers through the reality of conflict and occupation.

Suzanne Keatinge said: “The Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages is a set of guidelines that aims to ensure that NGOs avoid stereotypical or sensational imagery in their public communications, and encourages use of images based on the principles of respect, equality, solidarity and justice. ‘This Is Palestine’ foregrounds real human voices and lived experiences to communicate the complexity of conflict in Palestine in a respectful and meaningful way.”

The Innovation Award – celebrating an organisation using new thinking and approaches, risk-taking and alternative ways of working to address injustice and inequality – was presented to Self Help Africa for TruTrade.

The TruTrade online and mobile trading and payment platform is a social enterprise providing smallholder farmers in rural Africa with a reliable route to market and fair prices for their produce.

Suzanne Keatinge said: “Innovative thinking and fresh approaches are vital as we seek to devise solutions to the global challenges of today. In its creative use of technology to increase market access and transparency, and make trading safer for women farmers, Self Help Africa’s TruTrade platform has truly demonstrated how innovative ideas can disrupt the status quo and resolve entrenched social problems.”


Lía Flattery, Communications Officer at Dóchas: comms@dochas.ie.

Winners and finalists are available for interview.

Notes for the editor:

  • Dóchas is the Irish Association of Non-Governmental Development Organisations. It provides a forum for consultation and cooperation between its members, and a platform for them to speak with a single voice on development issues. For more information, visit: https://dochas.ie/.

  • Dóchas currently has 59 member organisations, who are working in Ireland on issues related to international development. For a full list of Dóchas members, visit: http://dochas.ie/membership/our-members.

  • The Dóchas Awards recognise inspiring and innovative people and programmes working in international development. Nominations were submitted by members of the public and scored by internal and external judges. For more information on the process and awards, visit: https://dochas.ie/awards.

  • The Global Citizen Award finalists were Éamonn Meehan (Trócaire), Maureen Forrest (The Hope Foundation), and Tiernan Dolan (GOAL). For more information on these finalists and the judges for this category, visit: https://dochas.ie/global-citizen-award-2018. 

  • The Innovation Award finalists were ActionAid (Women’s Rights Programme), Self Help Africa (TruTrade), and Trócaire (Project Honduras). For more information on these finalists and the judges for this category, visit: https://dochas.ie/innovation-award-2018.

  • The Respect & Equality in Communications Award finalists were UNICEF Ireland (Children #UPROOTED), Brighter Communities Worldwide (Nothing Will Stop Me), and Trócaire (This Is Palestine). For more information on these finalists and the judges for this category, visit: https://dochas.ie/communications-award-2018.

  • For more information on the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages, visit http://dochas.ie/images-and-messages.  

  • The Dóchas Awards 2018 are sponsored by Doggett Group and ABF Security.