The 2016 New York Dinner Gala was launched on Tuesday March 8th in the iconic Plaza Hotel in New York City. The evening was attended by 100 supporters of The American Ireland Fund. Over the past forty years this event has raised over $54 million for deserving Irish projects across Ireland and here in the United States and is the largest of the over 100 events hosted annually by The Worldwide Ireland Funds across 12 countries.
Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds, welcomed guests and announced this year’s Dinner Chairs: Gene McQuade, Chairman, XL Group PLC and William Mills, CEO, North American, Citi. Chairman of The American Ireland Fund, John Fitzpatrick, talked of the importance of the New York Dinner to the hundreds of projects the Fund support in Ireland. As a long standing support of The American Ireland Fund, Gene spoke of his personal involvement with the organization and how he and his family have benefited from the network of the Fund. Gene also spoke about this year’s Leslie C. Quick Jr. Leadership Award recipient, Mike McGavick. Mike is the CEO of XL Group, PLC. XL has had insurance operations in Dublin since 1990 and the city was XL’s first European location. In 2006, XL established the first Irish-domiciled reinsurance company. Bill Mills spoke of Citi’s commitment to Ireland and how he was looking forward to getting more involved with The American Ireland Fund.
Entertainment on the night was provided by Actor, Ciaran O’Reilly of The Irish Repertory Theatre who read W.B. Yeat’s poem, Easter 1916 and was accompanied by Gregory Hamilton on the violin.
Prior to the reception, members of the Dinner Committee gathered for their first meeting to embark on driving and promoting the dinner. With a target of $2.6 million, the Dinner Committee will be the backbone of the dinner which will provide funding for The Ireland Funds’ Grant Round to help support hundreds of outstanding charities across the island of Ireland.