March 13, 2014
The American Ireland Fund 22nd Annual National Gala in Washington DC
The American Ireland Fund hosted its 22nd Annual National Gala in Washington, D.C. The evening marked a milestone for the National Gala as $1 million dollars was raised for the work The American Ireland Fund making it the most successful in National Gala history. The Gala featured a keynote address by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D. As the focal point of the evening, The American Ireland Fund recognized The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., for his distinguished public service as Vice President of the United States, with The American Ireland Fund Peace Award, a rarely-presented award whose past recipients include President Clinton. Vice President Biden spoke eloquently about the importance of the work of The American Ireland Fund as well as the deep and ongoing ties between Ireland and the US.
“We are delighted to recognize the enormous contributions Vice President Biden has made to the welfare of Ireland,” said Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds. “Vice President Biden has been committed to the cause of strong U.S.-Irish relations throughout his public service. As Senator, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and then as Vice President, Joe Biden has been an invaluable voice for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.”
The American Ireland Fund also recognized Robert J. McCann, Chief Executive Officer of UBS Group Americas, with The American Ireland Fund International Business Leadership Award for his role as an exemplary business leader and philanthropist.
“Bob McCann has had a great impact on communities throughout Ireland as a philanthropist and in his professional life by making investments there,” said Kieran McLoughlin. “He has a focus on reconciliation in Northern Ireland and has been very generous to the Integrated Schools movement in particular.”
“I am honored to receive this award in recognition of my and UBS’s commitment to serving our communities,” said McCann. “There is no more important service I can think of than to contribute meaningfully to the development of the communities in which we live and work – and I am proud to know that these contributions have made a lasting impact.”
Norah O'Donnell, Co-Anchor of CBS This Morning served as Mistress of Ceremonies and a special musical performance was given by Sephira who energized the room with their unique take on Irish music.
John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, joined Gala Chairs, Irish and Irish American leaders, leaders in business, the media and the arts at the event celebrating Irish culture and heritage and generating funds for The Worldwide Ireland Funds’ Promising Ireland Campaign which has assisted over 650 Irish charities to-date.