European Ryder Cup Captain, Padraig Harrington; Chairman of UBS Americas, Robert McCann; and co-founders of The Irish Repertory Theatre, Ciaran O’Reilly and Charlotte Moore were honored at the 2020 Gala.
Over 330 guests from the spheres of business, the arts and sport came together to support the event in partnership with The Ireland Funds. The night raised over $800,000 and, over the course of its 9-year history, the event has raised over $7 million in support of the children’s hospital and pediatric research center in Ireland.
Three-time Major winner Pádraig Harrington was honored by the Best of Ireland Gala with its 2020 Sports Award in recognition of those major victories over 13 months in 2007 and 2008. A Ryder Cup regular from 1999 to 2010, Pádraig was on the winning team four times and later in 2020 will captain the European team at Whistling Straits.
Also recognized on the evening was Robert McCann, Chairman of UBS Americas, who works with the firm’s leaders cross the Americas region to shape and advance UBS’s strategy. He received the 2020 Corporate Leadership Award in recognition of his leadership in business and philanthropy.
Ciaran O’Reilly and Charlotte Moore received the 2020 Arts Award that annually recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their field. Ciaran and Charlotte are the Producing Director and Artistic Director respectively of Irish Repertory Theatre, an award-winning Off-Broadway company they founded in 1988.
“Tonight’s Gala is such a testament to the connection between Ireland and the United States,” said Alan Ennis, Co-Chair of the Best of Ireland Gala. “Over the past few years we…you…have raised many millions of dollars in support of pediatric research, helping sick kids. In my many visits to the research center and children’s hospital in Dublin, I have been hugely impressed with the ongoing work carried out and we are making real progress globally through our efforts. Childhood illness is a burden that no one should have to bear.”
Enda Kenny, former Prime Minister of Ireland, also attended. “The Irish people are the best connectors on the planet,” he said.” because of our history of colonization, because of the fact that 75 million people worldwide now regard themselves as being Irish. We now have the opportunity to connect all of those together. Because the world is faced with so many challenges now, that is where the Irish creative spirit will help to solve many of those problems and do whatever it takes in the process.”
Notable guests at the 2020 Gala included Founding Patrons Graeme McDowell and Eamonn Coghlan, Ciarán Madden, Ireland’s Consul General, Children’s Health Ireland CEO Denise Fitzgerald, Dr. Colin Hawkes from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Irish America Hall of Fame inductee Jean Butler.
Photography Jim Higgins