Bernadette Kelly Di Giorgi, Volunteer with the Irish Tourist Assistance Service, ITAS, is Honoured for her Dedicated Support to Guido Nasi, the Young Italian Student who was Assaulted in Ireland in 1999
During an official ceremony which took place today, H.E. Paolo Serpi, Ambassador of Italy to Ireland, conferred the decoration of “Cavaliere” (Knight) “Ordine della Stella d’Italia” (Order of the Star of Italy) on Bernadette Kelly Di Giorgi, which was bestowed upon her by the President of the Republic of Italy.
Bernadette received the award in recognition of the assistance she provides to Italian tourists in her role as volunteer with ITAS and in particular for her tireless and dedicated support to Guido Nasi and his mother Simonetta, when the then 17year old Italian was the victim of an assault in 1999, which left him requiring 24hour care. Guido has returned to Ireland a number of times since the incident but most recently in 2019, when he, his mother Simonetta and Bernadette met President Higgins at a special event in Áras an Uachtaráin, to mark ITAS’ 25th anniversary.
After the ceremony Bernadette said, “I am very honoured and proud to receive this award for my work helping Italian tourists and in particular for my support to Guido Nasi and his mother. What happened to Guido is every parent’s nightmare and to have a support structure like ITAS in place to help tourists and their families in times of trauma can make a world of difference. The volunteers in my branch helped me enormously during this time and I would like to thank them for their ongoing support and friendship”.
Lisa Kennedy, CEO of ITAS said “we are delighted that Bernadette has been recognised for her contribution assisting Italian tourists as a volunteer with ITAS and specifically for her enduring support to Guido. This is the third award associated with the Service. Bernard Lavelle, former Manager, received a similar “Cavaliere” award in 2008 and Ann Meade, founding member was awarded an MBE in 2004. These awards are a positive reflection on ITAS and the many people and organisations involved with it”.
ITAS, set up in 1994, offers support and practical assistance to international visitors who experience crime and other trauma while visiting Ireland and works with the Gardaí, embassies and tourism industry to offer an immediate and comprehensive response. ITAS is the only dedicated Service in Europe to offer this specialist support and has assisted over 18,000 tourists from 110 countries around the world. The support provided by ITAS enables on average 9 out of 10 tourists to continue their holiday.