We are delighted to announce the five winners of the inaugural Global Gael awards, nominated by listeners to the podcast from around the world and selected thereafter by a jury.

The jury’s motivations for their selections can be read below.

“It may seem unusual to single out an individual in a team sport like soccer, but Katie McCabe’s performances for Arsenal and in particular for the Republic Of Ireland left the jury no choice as she transcended the sport in 2023.

“Her poise, skill and desire to succeed on and off the field made her the outstanding Irish athlete of the year, and the way she led our country at our first Women’s World Cup finals was exemplary, even netting our first goal at that tournament.

Katie is the best of us, a fitting role model to every Irish person at home and abroad.”

“Joe’s work with the Irish Creative Collective has showcased a generosity of spirit that is as great as his talents as an actor, writer and comedian. The way he helps and supports young Irish people in London, organising events and creating networks and opportunities for them, often sacrificing the development of his own career in the process, is a continuous act of genuine love and kindness, and well worthy of recognition.

“Like Katie and all our other winners, Joe is a role model who deserves all our gratitude and support.”

“All over the world, Irish people have created organisations to support each other in their hours of need, and in 2023 Fréa stood out among them for their work with the survivors of the Mother & Baby Home system in the north of England.

“Many who were subjected to that system – one of the great stains on our collective history – emigrated and ended up in Britain, bearing a heavy burden of trauma on their journey, and it is estimated that up to 40 percent of those entitled to redress live in the United Kingdom.

“Fréa’s unquestioning commitment to supporting them and to securing justice and recompense where possible is deserving of the highest praise and gratitude from the global Irish community.”

“Like many Irish people, Tadhg’s career took him to Britain and beyond as he built a reputation as an actor, writer and comedian, but for years we did not know of his struggles with alcohol and addiction and the demons that caused them, hidden as they were behind the great characters he played and the comedy he created and performed.

“His brilliantly-written memoir is a searing, brutally honest account of his battle to best those demons; never once straying into self-pity or self-aggrandisement, Tadhg’s remarkable book shows us all that, even in our darkest hours, redemption is there for all of us, if we just have the courage to embrace it.”

“In another tremendous year for Irish music, the Mary Wallopers and their album Irish Rock ‘n Roll stood out for its eclectic and energetic brilliance, as evidenced at the live gigs in Europe in 2023 that brought great joy to Irish people abroad.

“The band has breathed life into many great old songs, some of which had gone unsung for many years, and their own original compositions displayed a social awareness and a humour and compassion that is deeply rooted in our folk and ballad traditions.

“In a year in which we lost beloved singers and songwriters such as Shane MacGowan, Sinéad O’Connor and Christy Dignam, the Wallopers ensured that the torch of our world-class musical culture still burns brightly.”