1st March, 2014

Dallas 2nd Annual Emerald Ball 2014

The American Ireland Fund built on the success of the 2013 Inaugural Ball and welcomed 500 guests to the beautiful Regency Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. The event was Co-Chaired by Suzanne and Bill Murray of Cashel Capital LLC with Marianne and Roger Staubach serving as the Honorary Co-Chairs. After bagpipers guided guests into the room, the evening began with Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds introducing a video clip of Texas’ own Haley O’Sullivan winning the prestigious Rose of Tralee contest in County Kerry in the summer of 2014.
After dinner those present delighted in the words of David Feherty, CBS and Gold Channel Broadcaster as well as former professional golfer. David, a native of Northern Ireland, spoke the role of the Irish in building America, and the significance of America now giving back to Ireland. His deep appreciation for the sacrifices of American veteran was evident throughout his address.
When the crowd had settled down, Aidan Cronin, Consul General of Ireland, took the stage and announced the opening of a new Irish Consulate in Austin, Texas before calling the Murray’s and Staubach’s to receive their Waterford presentations. Bill Murray thanked all in attendance before announcing to NFL legend and renowned Dallas businessman, Roger Staubach that a gift an inner city Dublin children’s program had been in recognition of the profound influence which his Irish mother, Elizabeth Smyth and good friend Fr. Joe Ryan had on him throughout both his personal life and professional career.
AIF National Board member and Chairman of the Texas Regional Advisory Board, Tom Codd set the context for presentation to Emerald Ball Honoree Admiral Patrick M Walsh, US Navy (Ret) by explaining for all those gathered Admiral Walsh’s incredible career of service and success. Admiral Walsh then spoke and highlighted the important of family and faith before imploring all to make use of the valuable traits of returning veterans and consider hiring them as equally valuable employees.
For the final presentation of the night, the Corboy Anam Award was presented to Netta Gleeson Blanchard, Dublin native and Life Trustee of The American Ireland Fund by previous Corboy Awardee Camilla Ballard and Mike Corboy himself. Camilla brought all in attendance to their feet before Netta and Mike approached the podium for a rousing presentation of the Award to Netta for her loving dedication and service to Ireland throughout the years. 
Many guests stayed on well after the formal presentation concluded for hearty conversation and dancing!