The Mansion House once again provided a superb setting for the London City Lunch, which was attended by Irish, British and international members of the business community in London and special VIP guests Sir Andrew Parmley, Ambassador Adrian O’Neill and An Tanaiste Simon Coveney TD.
The event began with a champagne and Guinness reception before guests were called to their seats by Toastmaster John Hollingsworth. The Lord Mayor was represented by Sir Andrew Parmley who gave a warm welcome and spoke about the City of London’s long history of philanthropy.
Vice President of The Ireland Funds, Caitriona Fottrell then took to the podium and spoke about the work of The Ireland Funds in supporting communities across Great Britain and on the island of Ireland.
The highlight of the afternoon was a speech by Simon Coveney TD, An Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr Coveney acknowledged the extraordinary work of The Ireland Funds and the difference that it makes to communities in Ireland and abroad. In the context of Brexit, he spoke about the importance of British-Irish relations and the importance of protecting a relationship that sustains close to half a million jobs between the two islands, preserving the peace process and avoiding a hard border. He referenced the number of Irish nationals, including himself, that have been deeply impacted by time spent living, studying or working in Great Britain; and he spoke about his key objective of delivering the Common Travel Area provision to provide certainty for Irish in Britain and similarly British living in Ireland so that they can continue to enjoy the entitlements and privileges they are accustomed to.
Following An Tánaiste’s speech, IFGB Board Member Emily Bohill took to the podium to speak about the work of The Ireland Funds and the purpose of the event – to raise funds to support Irish communities and culture in Great Britain and Ireland. Following a short fundraising video, guests once again demonstrated their generosity by making pledges to support the work of The Ireland Funds Great Britain which supports charities through its annual Grant Round.
The London City Lunch was sponsored by McCann Fitzgerald LLP.
Photos: Malcolm McNally Photography