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Saoi (Irish pronunciation: [sˠiː]) (pl. saoithe; lit. "wise one"; hist. head of poetic school; master) is the highest honour that members of Aosdána, an association of people in Ireland who have achieved distinction in the arts, can bestow upon a fellow member. No more than seven living members can be so honoured at one time.[1]

The title of Saoi is conferred by the President of Ireland (following election from among the membership of Aosdána) and held for life. A torc (a twist/spiral of gold, worn around the neck) is presented to each Saoi by the President and/or Administrator.

Nominating process[edit]

A committee of ten members of Aosdána referred to as the Toscaireacht[2] monitor and manage the nominating process to confirm adherence to the established rules. Fifteen members of the Aosdána must nominate a candidate of merit and distinction. An election by secret ballot then occurs with all members. Approval is determined by at least 50% + 1 of the membership voting approval.

Only one nomination per vacancy may be processed through an election at a time. If multiple candidate submissions are received, they go through the election process one at a time until a successful approval is declared. Subsequent nominees are held until there is a future vacancy.

Some members of Aosdána who have been given the title of Saoi[edit]


External links[edit]