Donors from across 12 international chapters of The Ireland Funds gathered at the organization’s annual gala event based at the Powerscourt Hotel, Co. Wicklow.
The four day conference included donors from across the world visiting a range of funded projects as well as key events that included The Ireland Funds AWB Vincent Literary Award, which was presented to playwright Conor McPherson. The conference also included a plenary session – featuring a panel with former Taoiseach Enda Kenny among others – to forward plan for the organization.
The philanthropic impact of The Ireland Funds was recognized at the event’s Gala as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco celebrated the generosity of donors to projects across Ireland.
Since its establishment in 1976 by the late Dan Rooney and Sir Anthony O’Reilly, The Ireland Funds has raised over $550m dollars for over 3,000 organizations.
Addressing the Gala event, his Serene Highness Prince Albert II said: “It’s always a great joy for me to be with The Ireland Funds. You contribute to furthering the influence of Irish culture and Irish values for your country, which you know I have such strong feelings and such strong ties with.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that the impact of The Ireland Funds goes even beyond the giving. “As everyone here knows so well the generosity and goodwill of members in 12 countries have raised over half a billion dollars but in addition to that, it has provided a really important network for the Irish diaspora to connect right across the world. In total 3,000 organisations have benefited and your record speaks for itself; 41 years of unbroken support and service to Ireland and its peoples.”
John Fitzpatrick, Chairman, The Ireland Funds America said, “This is the time when we all meet, worldwide. We all have our chapters all over the world but this is where we come together and actually see where the investment is going. When you see the projects it energises you to just go back and do more.”
Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President and CEO, The Ireland Funds said: “It’s been a very rewarding four days for our donors. We finished it with tonight’s gala but the lasting piece for our benefactors is undoubtedly getting to see projects that they have funded and the incredible impact it is having.”
The Ireland Funds AWB Vincent Literary Award
Prolific Irish playwright Conor McPherson has joined luminaries from the literary world such as Seamus Heaney, Austin Clarke, Colum McCann after receiving The Ireland Funds AWB Vincent Literary Award on June 22, 2017.