Ambassadors & High profile Supporters

UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors & High Profile Supporters

UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors and high profile supporters play an important role for UNICEF across the country and around the world. They stay informed about children's issues, visit UNICEF field projects and help fundraise for UNICEF. They have chosen to do what they can to save the lives of children in developing countries by making Irish people and people around the world aware of their plight.

Liam Neeson

Actor and Humanitarian Liam Neeson was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2011, reflecting his long commitment to help save and improve the lives of children around the world affected by poverty, disease, abuse and neglect. The Oscar-nominated actor has since 1997 provided strong support to the international children’s organisation in part through his role as a National Ambassador for UNICEF in Ireland. 

Liam visited Mozambique in 2005 with UNICEF to find out more about the impact of HIV/AIDS on children living there and supported UNICEF's "Believe in Zero" campaign in Ireland and the United States in 2009 and 2010. Most recently Liam helped mark the 15th anniverary of UNICEF Ireland's "Change for Good" partnership with Ireland's national airline Aer Lingus in May 2012, which has raised over US$15million since its launch in 1999.

Donncha O'Callaghan

Munster and Irish rugby star Donncha O'Callaghan was appointed an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland in August 2009. Donncha has made field visits to see UNICEF's work first hand in Zimbabwe, Haiti and in South Africa. 

In 2012, Donncha recorded an urgent appeal for our "Children of the Sahel" Emergency and launched UNICEF Ireland's annual soft toy campaign in IKEA Dublin.  He also lent his support to UNICEF Ireland's children's rights referendum campaign for young people.


Dustin the Turkey

Dustin the Turkey has been supporting UNICEF Ireland since January 2009. 

Always keen to 'lend a wing' to many of UNICEF Ireland's fundraisers, Dustin has supported several major fundraising events for UNICEF Ireland including the Harry Potter Screening, our Mother's Day Lunch & our annual IKEA Soft Toy Campaign in IKEA Dublin.

Dustin visited the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa to find out about the impact of HIV/AIDS on young children in November 2009.


Rory McIlroy

International golfing star Rory McIlroy was appointed an Ambassador for UNICEF Ireland in March 2011.  

Rory made his first UNICEF field visit in June 2011 to see for himself UNICEF's work for women and children living in Haiti following the January 2010 earthquake.

Rory is also the face of our Change for Good partnership with Aer Lingus. Click here to watch his video online.


Cathy Kelly

Cathy was appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador in 2005.  That year, Cathy visited Mozambique to highlight the impact that HIV/AIDS was having on children in sub-Saharan Africa and in 2007, Cathy visited Rwanda to highlight UNICEF's "Schools for Africa" Campaign. 

A passionate advocate for children, Cathy rarely misses an opportunity when speaking with the media to highlight UNICEF's work and she  returned to Mozambique in May 2012 to help highlight UNICEF Ireland's partnership with Fyffes, working to protect orphaned and vulnerable children there from malaria.

Joe Canning and Dermot Earley

Joe Canning and Dermot Earley - two of Ireland’s leading GAA stars were appointed UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors in September 2010, Joe and Dermot were unveiled as UNICEF Ireland Ambassadors in association with the Gaelic Players Assocation.

The first campaign that Joe Canning and Dermot Earley worked on was UNICEF Ireland’s “Euro for Zero” Campaign.  In November 2011, Joe and Dermot visited Swaziland to see for themselves UNICEF’s work for children.


Stephen Rea

Stephen Rea meeting children in Za'atari Refugee Camp, Jordan
Stephen Rea was appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador in 2005. That year, he visited Mozambique to highlight the impact that HIV/AIDS was having on children. In 2006, he was  the very special guest at the UNICEF Ireland Corporate Lunch and filmed UNICEF Ireland's "Believe in Zero" campaign in 2009.

In 2012, Stephen visited the Za'atari Refugee Camp in northern Jordan to meet child refugees from the conflict in Syria and lent his support to UNICEF Ireland's continuing appeal for the children of Syria.


Gabriel Byrne

Gabriel Byrne has been supporting UNICEF since 2004. He visited Dublin in March 2006 to be the very special guest at UNICEF Ireland's Mother's Day Lunch to raise funds for UNICEF safe motherhood programmes throughout the world.  During the lunch, Gabriel spoke movingly about his time in Swaziland and the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and children living there.

Gabriel has also been supporting UNICEF Ireland's "Believe in Zero" campaign and in October 2010, guest edited the Sunday Independent "Life" magazine on behalf of UNICEF to highlight UNICEF's "Euro for Zero" Campaign.


Pierce Brosnan

Pierce Brosnan has been supporting UNICEF since 2001. He is particularly committed to helping UNICEF Ireland highlight the plight of children affected by war.  Irish DreamTime, the film Production Company that he co-owns donated the US$25,000 MovieGuide Award prize money to UNICEF Ireland to help the children of Iraq.  In 2005, Pierce also recorded a special announcement to mark the launch of UNICEF's "Unite for Children. Unite against AIDS" Campaign with Liam Neeson as well as a special “Thank You” message to Irish donors who supported UNICEF's Emergency Appeal following the Asian Tsunami in 2005.

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