On Friday March 15th, The Ireland Funds hosted a special St. Patrick’s Day Leadership Series reception in the offices of Vice Media in Venice Beach. Guest speaker was Simon Harris T.D., Minister for Health, who was joined by Robert O’Driscoll, Consul General of Ireland to the Western U.S.
Jonathan Loughran, VP Development for The Ireland Funds, opened the evening and welcomed guests to the event, showcasing the work of The Ireland Funds with the newly-produced overview video to great applause. The theme of the evening was St Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate Ireland’s diaspora and its achievements, as well as the important contribution of The Ireland Funds to peace and reconciliation on the island of Ireland.
Minister Harris reiterated that in response to the ongoing Brexit developments, the Irish Government would not consider any measure that brought hard borders back to the island of Ireland, which was welcomed with great applause. He also spoke of the new progressive Ireland and how over the last number of years Ireland had been the first country to legalize same sex marriage by popular vote, and had repealed the 8th amendment to allow women make choices about their own health.
Vice Media provided a wonderful indoor/outdoor Venice Beach setting with an antique bar and taco truck demonstrating the melding of Ireland and California. There was a lively Q&A discussion with the Minister and assembled supporters of The Ireland Funds, including National Board Director Harry Hartford, Regional Advisory Committee members Kaitlyn Kyle Cafferkey and Alan Hearty, Marjorie Muldowney VP Development San Francisco, James Corr, Kieran Hannon, Una & Ian Fox, Deirdre O’Neill, Eoin Egan Dermot, Anne & Mark Tuohy, and many others.
The Ireland Funds thanks supporter Niall Cooney at Vice Media for his help arranging the gathering, and the Irish Consulate in San Francisco.
Photos: Elaine Lee