Fr Shay Cullen is to be honoured tomorrow with the Humanitarian Award at the 2009 Meteor Ireland Music Awards together with a donation of 100,000 Euro. The St Patrick's Day awards will be held at RDS, Dublin.
Fr. Shay, nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize, is a missionary priest from Dublin and a member of the Missionary Society of St. Columban who has worked tirelessly in protecting women and children and human rights in the Philippines since 1969.
He established the Preda Foundation in Olongapo City in the Philippines in 1974 to promote human rights, justice and peace. He strives to eliminate child abuse and promote respect for children's rights by attempting to change the unjust economic, political and social structures and attitudes that allow such abuse.
Preda project aim to educate for peace, free children from brothels and jails and give them a chance to recover in therapeutic homes and be reintegrated to have a happier life free from violence and abuse. When he uncovered a child prostitution ring selling children to personnel at the US Naval base, Subic Bay, he initiated a successful campaign to remove the bases and convert the infrastructure into a commercial manufacturing zone. As many as a hundred thousand Filipinos now work at the converted US bases in Clark and Subic.
He began Preda Fair Trade, in 1975, a successful poverty alleviation, manufacturing and export project that lifts the poor to a life of dignity. He oversees twelve major projects at the Foundation including environmental protection and tree planting. With a present professional staff of 83 the projects are expanding.
Fr Shay has received several human rights awards and has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and other human rights awards. He has testified before the US Congress, The Philippine Senate and is a well known speaker and facilitator at numerous other international conferences.
Previous recipients of the Humanitarian Award and donations are Mary Donohue (Rose Project Founder), Sir Elton John, Christina Noble, Bono, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and Adi Roche, Father Peter Mc Verry and Paul Brady.
The Meteor Awards will be presented by Amanda Byram and will feature performances from Stereophonics, Enrique Iglesias, Boyzone, James Morrison, Elbow, Sharon Shannon with Mundy, Duke Special, The Blizzards and Imelda May.