8th March, 2013

San Francisco Gala Dinner 2013

On Friday, March 8th, The American Ireland Fund San Francisco Gala Dinner was held at the St. Francis Hotel.  Bart Murphy, President of Murphy Investments, received the prestigious American Ireland Fund Distinguished Leadership Award, presented by Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds and Dinner Co-Chairs, Bill McKiernan and John McDonnell.  Bart was joined by many family members including his wife, Eileen Moore, son Denis, his mom Kate all the way from Tipperary, and his brother Michael –  along with Brian Moore, Sheila Moore Thurston and their families.  450 guests gathered in celebration of Bart who has done extraordinary work in advancing the status of Irish immigrants in the U.S., provided outstanding support to the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center in San Francisco, while developing a thriving and successful property company.    The evening was filled with a wonderful spirit of friendly goodwill and the strong recognition that Bart Murphy has been a tremendous friend to Ireland – and to many others in the crowd. The evening highlighted the commitment of the West Coast to the island of Ireland as support was raised for The Worldwide Ireland Funds Promising Ireland Campaign.

MC Sean Burns welcomed the enthusiastic audience which included special guests, Consul-General Gerry Staunton and Vice-Consul Amy Stack, and AIF West Coast Director Marjorie Muldowney, Pauline Ryan with husband John Ryan.  Generous donors included Joan & Dave O’Reilly, EJ Tracy, Sheila O’Connor Burns, Cynthia & Rob Birmingham, Maryon Davies Lewis, Olivia-Gaynor Long & Brian Long, Kathleen & Kevin McDonough, Julie & Dan Murphy, Patsy McGinnis, Kathleen Ryan, AIF Director Craig Sullivan & his wife Maureen, and Diane Wisey.  There were key supporters present from:  Deloitte, First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, Tracy Industries, UCSF Medical Center, and Visa, Inc.  as well as The Alice Phelan Sullivan Corporation, Cybersource, Inc., IDA Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, Irish Technology Leadership Group, Residential Builders Association, and San Francisco Apartment Association.  Profuse thanks to this wonderful group!

Following an elegant cocktail reception in the Colonial Room, the program began with much pomp and ceremony as the Murphy family was piped into the Grand Ballroom, accompanied by the delightful dancers from the Moore School of Irish Dance.  The Celtic Voices Youth Choir, part of the IIPC Outreach Program, opened the proceedings and were cheered enthusiastically.   The Exclusive Drawing created much excitement with a luxurious Town & Country Getaway made possible through the terrific support of Aer Lingus, Ashford Castle, Dromoland Castle and The Merrion Hotel.  Other wonderful donations came from Kerry Egan of The Villagio Inn & Spa, Kerry Murphy of DuMOL Wines and generous gift certificates from Cinta Salon, Momo’s Restaurant, the San Francisco Giants, and the St. Francis Hotel.

The festivities reached full swing with Dave Martin’s House Party who revved up the room with fantastic dance music, singing and an exuberant sense of fun.

In the Media

Irish Central.com ++ The man leading the fight to legalize the undocumented Irish in America – A quiet hero takes a bow in San Francisco at the American Ireland Fund dinner

13th March, 2013 – San Francisco: The American Ireland Fund annual dinner here in San Francisco honored Bart Murphy, one of those quiet heroes of the Irish American community who too often get overlooked. I made the 3,000 mile journey to pay homage to a friend of long standing, but also a man who will play a key role in the future of the Irish in this country. I was delighted when the American Ireland Fund, the most prestigious Irish group in the U.S., decided on Bart as their California honoree. It was an acknowledgement of the importance of an issue and of a man who has decided not to play it safe with some worthy charity, but to try and help Irish in the U.S. who desperately need that help – View article