December 2016, The Ireland Fund of Great Britain hosed its annual Winter Ball at the world famous Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
Actor James Nesbitt OBE was honoured for his contribution to Irish cultural life in Great Britain. Nesbitt is best known for starring in films such as The Hobbit, Bloody Sunday and Cold Feet. Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President and CEO of The Ireland Funds welcomed guests and introduced Chairman of The Ireland Fund of Great Britain, Garrett Hayes who presented a Dublin Crystal award to James Nesbitt. As he is originally from Northern Ireland and grew up during the Troubles, Nesbitt told the capacity room that the positive impact The Ireland Funds has had on peace and reconciliation work in Northern Ireland has particularly resonated with him. He added that, “The support The Ireland Funds gives to so many extraordinary organisations and projects not only in Ireland but across the UK, is indeed inspiring.”
The celebration marked the culmination of The Ireland Funds’ 40th year and was attended by over 300 guests. Many leading figures from business, politics, sport and culture joined The Winter Ball Committee members, chaired by Deirdre O’Sullivan; John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The American Ireland Fund; and stars including Anna Friel and Andrew Scott, to mark the occasion.