Thursday, April 28, 2022

Chicago Young Leaders Leadership Series with Kevin Byrne 2022

The Ireland Funds Chicago Young Leaders Leadership Series

After a COVID-19 two year absence, the Chicago Chapter of The Ireland Funds Young Leaders gathered at The Dearborn Tavern in Chicago on Thursday April 28 to hear from Kevin Byrne, Irish Consul General, Midwest US.

Áine Mallaghan, The Ireland Funds Vice-President of Development Midwest, opened the evening with a welcome to everyone. Devon Bruce, Dinner Co-Chair of The Ireland Funds Chicago Advisory Committee addressed the guests and spoke of the important role The Young Leaders play in the future of The Ireland Funds’ philanthropic mission.

Abbey Canning McKeon and James Keeley, Co-Chairs, Chicago Young Leaders both spoke of their desire to see the Chicago chapter back up and running and outlined some of the aims of the chapter with the priority to get a steering committee formed in the next few months.

James introduced Kevin Byrne to the group. Kevin gave a most informative and well received address on the special links between Ireland and the US over the years, but specifically addressing what modern Ireland looks like and how it has changed and progressed over the last 100 years. Kevin informed us that one in six children in Ireland has a parent that was not born in Ireland. And in relation to the Ukraine crisis, Kevin pointed out that in the last 20 years Ireland has taken in 100,000 refugees. However, in the last 2 months alone, Ireland has taken in over 25,000 Ukrainian refugees. Kevin spoke about the election in Northern Ireland and also on how Ireland fits in in the International stage.

After some questions and answers, the group went to the AMC Theatres to watch a special screening of the Belfast movie, which is loosely based on director Kenneth Branagh’s childhood in Belfast.

We look forward to building the Chicago chapter of The Young Leaders in the coming months.


Aine Mallaghan

VP of Development Mid West

The Ireland Funds

T - 312-659-1995

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