Roma Downey to Receive the Inaugural Irish Diaspora Award - Monday 14th March 2016

**File Photo** Golden Globe and Emmy nominated Roma Downey has been chosen to receive the inaugural 'Irish Diaspora Award' presented by the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA) in association with the Office of the Minister for Diaspora Affairs. The Award recognizes Downey's extraordinary achievements and vision as both a Producer and an Actress alongside her charity and humanitarian work worldwide. The Award will be presented at the IFTA Awards Ceremony on April 9thin Dublin. Roma Downey's career has already spanned three decades, and she has achieved enormous global success in front and behind the camera. From A Woman Named Jackie and Touched by an Angel to developing, producing (and starring in) the epic drama series The Bible, Son of God and the soon to be released Ben Hur. She is listed on Variety's 100 Most Powerful Women in Hollywood, among many other accolades. A skilful and astute Producer behind the scenes, Downey has brought her 'angel's touch' to a number of epic Dramas, watched by over 100 million people worldwide. This summer she will receive a star on the famed Hollywood Blvd. Downey has also been recognized globally for her fundraising and humanitarian work including being a global ambassador for Operation Smile for over 20 years, a charity that helps people born with cleft palates, and working with the Displaced Christians in Iraq and Syria among others. Downey has always remained true to her heritage and has been an extraordinary ambassador for Ireland, she has been a supporter of the Irish Arts Center in New York and The Playhouse in Derry To celebrate the Irish Diaspora Award, Ms. Downey will be joined at the IFTA ceremony on April 9th by friends and colleagues from the world of film and drama. The IFTA Ceremony takes place at the Round Room of the Mansion House, Dublin on Saturday, April 9th. Jimmy Deenihan, Ireland's first ever Minister for Diaspora Affairs says; "Roma Downey wholly embodies the Irish spi - Ireland - Monday 14th March 2016 (4 images)

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