A perfect summer’s evening greeted guests at West Hollywood’s exclusive restaurant Ysabel as The Ireland Funds welcomed Robert O’Driscoll, the new Consul General of Ireland to the West Coast, and his wife, RTE journalist Caoimhe Ni Chonchoille. The evening also served as a temporary farewell to noted Irish philanthropists and entrepreneurs Danielle Ryan and Richard Bourke who were returning to Ireland.
The intimate dinner was attended by The Ireland Funds America National Board member Harry Hartford and Regional Advisory Committee member Alan Hearty, as well as supporters that included Emmy-nominated Irish actress and producer Roma Downey (“Touched By An Angel”, “The Bible”), Keith Ennis, Chris O’Dowd the Emmy-winning writer (“Moone Boy”) and Tony-nominated actor (“Of Mice and Men”), Disney’s Una Fox and her lauded camera-operator husband Ian Fox (“Jurassic World”, “Captain America”, “Apocalypto”), Electus COO Drew Buckley, Vice Media’s Niall Cooney and A&E Networks’ Mark Tuohy. Roma shared her and her husband Mark Burnett’s (President of MGM) excitement for Chris O’Dowd’s upcoming MGM TV series Get Shorty of which he is the star and everyone celebrated the birth of Chris’ 11-day old son, Valentine O’Porter.
The Ireland Funds LA VP for Development Jonathan Loughran spoke about his recent visit to Ireland for The Ireland Funds’ Annual Conference and the impact The Ireland Funds’ generous donors continue to have on vital projects in Ireland. Jonathan formally welcomed Robert and Caoimhe to Southern California and emphasized what an honour it was for their first official engagement in LA to be an Ireland Funds’ gathering. Robert spoke to the gathering about his hopes for further enhancing the ties between Ireland and California during his tenure, highlighting the deep links that Ireland and the State of California share, in particular through technology as well as creativity and the arts.
The evening drew to a close with new friends taking photographs and eagerly planning the next LA get together of friends of The Ireland Funds.