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GUINNESS manufacturer Diageo and popstar Keith Duffy were named Corporate and National Philanthropist of the Year.

Boyzone star Keith was recognised for his work with Irish Autism Action. In addition, the inaugural Brian Wilson Award was made posthumously to Hugh O'Regan.

Diageo Ireland was unveiled as Corporate Philanthropist of the Year for The Arthur Guinness Fund.

This year's philanthropists were nominated by their peers, by members of the communities in which they work and by the non-profit organisations that they support. The final decision was taken by independent adjudicator Deirdre Purcell.

Run by the Community Foundation for Ireland, the awards were handed out at a lunch hosted by RTE broadcaster Marian Finucane in Dublin.

"This year's winners highlight the impact sustained, long-term giving can have on a specific cause or issue, as instanced by Keith Duffy's support for autism and Diageo Ireland's support for social entrepreneurs through the Arthur Guinness Fund," said Tina Roche (inset), CEO, The Community Foundation for Ireland.

"Philanthropy is from both the head and the heart; it is truly planned giving. We hope these recipients will serve to inspire and challenge others to think of setting up their own corporate, family or personal fund with the Foundation."