Friday, March 8, 2024

Canada – St Patrick’s Day Luncheon 2024

The Ireland Funds Canada St Patrick’s Day Luncheon 2024 

 The Ireland Funds Canada St Patrick’s Day Luncheon re-launched with a sold-out event on March 8! 

 Since 1983, the Ireland Funds Canada St Patrick’s Day luncheon has been the premier event celebrating Ireland and the Irish in Toronto. The last luncheon took place in 2020, just prior to the pandemic. This year, therefore, marked the re-launch of the event and the first to take place since the official designation of March as Irish Heritage Month by the Government of Canada.  

 This year, our luncheon was in support of University of Toronto’s University of St. Michael’s College. St. Michael’s has long been a beacon for the Celtic community in Toronto. Its Celtic Studies program includes history, languages and culture, through a series of open lectures, social gatherings and sport. 

 Our theme this year was “Returning to Our Roots,” seeking to honour the past while weaving its significance into the present and future of the Irish community in Canada. Our event celebrated the traditional customs, music, art and storytelling that represent the essence of Irish culture, and included a wonderful display of artwork from our local Irish community organizations. Throughout the day, we enjoyed traditional Irish music and dance, and plenty of Guinness!  

 Our guests were welcomed by Eithne Heffernan and Oliver Murray of our Executive Committee. Special guests included James Maloney MP, who represents Etobicoke-Lakeshore in the Canadian House of Commons, and who introduced the motion to designate March as Irish Heritage Month in Canada in 2021; and the Consul General of Ireland in Toronto, Janice McGann. Mayor Olivia Chow also recorded a special message in advance for the event’s attendees, noting the importance of the Irish community to the fabric of Toronto and offering her best wishes to the Ireland Funds Canada and all of our attendees on the day. We also heard from Professor David Sylvester, President and Vice-Chancellor of St Michael’s College, about how much the support of the Ireland Funds Canada means to the Celtic Studies program.  

 This year’s luncheon also coincided with International Women’s Day. We were delighted to honour Ann Dooley, Professor Emerita of Celtic Studies and Medieval Studies, for her many years of work at the heart of the Celtic Studies program at the University of St Michael’s College, University of Toronto. 

 More than four million people in Canada today can trace their roots back to Ireland, and Canada is home to one of the largest Irish populations outside Ireland itself. Irish Heritage Month recognises and celebrates the vital contribution that Canadians of Irish heritage have made to Canada’s story. We hope that our St Patrick’s Day luncheon will continue to be a signature event for the celebration of Irish culture in Canada as part of this initiative, for many years to come.  

 The Ireland Funds Canada is immensely grateful to our sponsors whose generosity made this event possible, to all those who contributed so generously to our cause on the day, and to our organising committee and team of tireless volunteers, who worked so hard to make the event such a success.  

 Ní neart go cur le chéile – there is no strength without unity! 



 Write up: Seána Glennon 

Photography: Tyrone Felix

Event Committee

Eithne Heffernan, The Ireland Funds Canada Executive Committee
Cormac Mac Lochlainn, Stonebridge Financial
Seána Glennon, University of Ottawa
Clare Horan, Scotiabank
Gemma Healy-Murphy, MacMillan
Philip Allen, MidStar Capital
Lisa Gleva, University of St. Michael’s College
Sophia Poulimenakos, University of St. Michael’s College
Deirdre Brett, Etobicoke Physiotherapy
Madeleine O’Loughlin, Irish Project Hope
Peter Sweeney Jr., Kinterra Capital
Niall Sweeney, Wildeboer Dellelce LLP
Ken Tracey, Garavogue Inc.
Tracey Lyng, MEP Services Group
Brian Donnellan, IRL Group.


Eithne Heffernan

The Ireland Funds Canada Executive Committee

T - 416-566-4597

E -

Email me