The Ireland Funds Great Britain held its annual London City Lunch at Mansion House on Friday 10th June 2022. 240 guests and friends of Ireland enjoyed the resplendent setting of the Egyptian Hall and heard from the speakers who included The Rt Hon the Lord Mandelson and Lord Mayor Vincent Keavney. A champagne and Guinness reception greeted guests and allowed them to enjoy the opportunity to network and catch up with friends and colleagues.
The Lord Mayor, Vincent Keaveny, the 693rd Lord Mayor, welcomed everyone and spoke about the City of London being pleased to continue to support The Ireland Funds’ flagship event. He noted from a personal point that it was extra special for him as the first Irish national to hold the role of Lord Mayor and said he is pleased that his likely successor, Nicholas Lyons, is also of Irish descent.
Hugh Beattie, London Partner at event sponsor – McCann FitzGerald, spoke about the need for philanthropic effort in the face of the cost-of-living crisis which will hit the most vulnerable. Mr Beattie then welcomed keynote speaker, The Rt Hon the Lord Mandelson to the stage, acknowledging his huge impact in the successes of the New Labour government 25 years ago and the backdrop that is the current political climate in the United Kingdom.
In the start of a thought-provoking address Lord Mandelson said how pleased he was to be welcomed to the City Lunch and how it reminded him of the warmth of working in the island of Ireland when he was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and the love he had of working in the country.
Lord Mandelson highlighted the difficulties of the current political relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom, however, he noted that both he and much of British society share a commonality and shared outlook and friendship with the people of Ireland. Lord Mandelson spoke of the challenges facing politicians around the Northern Ireland Protocol- he strongly believes the situation is resolvable with seriousness of intent and mutual trust of both sides looking at it as partners- whilst acknowledging that compromises may need to be made. Lord Mandelson concluded by discussing the current state of British politics.
Following lunch, Katie Jemmett, Director of IFGB, delivered the fundraising presentation, sharing the stories of the impact of The Ireland Funds grant support for charities across Great Britain and Ireland.
The event was generously sponsored by McCann FitzGerald and Teneo.
Photos: Noel Mullen