On Monday, June 9th, the Washington, DC Young Leaders hosted the inaugural “Friends of Ireland Caucus” reception at the Longworth Building on Capitol Hill.
While live traditional Irish music played in the background, the Young Leaders mingled with members of The American Ireland Fund National Gala Dinner Committee and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle. In attendance were Congressmen Bill Keating (D-MA), David Joyce (R-OH), Jim Costa (D-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Tom Petri (R-WI), Walter Jones (R- NC), Howard Coble (R-NC), Joe Kennedy (D-MA) and Richard Neal (D-MA), who along with Peter King (R-NY) was honored at the event.
National Director of the Young Leaders, Pat Tully, opened up the program and discussed America’s strong ties to Ireland and how the United States has played a vital role in the peace process in Northern Ireland and will continue to do so. He also talked about The Ireland Funds’ commitment to Northern Ireland, evident in the fact that the 2014 Worldwide Conference would be held in Belfast.
Washington Young Leaders Steering Chair Megan Molloy then greeted the supporters and introduced Congressman Richard Neal, while referencing his over 30 years of support for Ireland and Irish causes.
Congressman Neal spoke about the importance of a sustained response to the Northern Ireland peace process and the fact that we need to pause and be reminded of the past and ensure that we stay on track so the current generation will know lasting peace.
The evening continued with music and “Sundowner” cocktails on the gorgeous terrace overlooking the world famous US Capitol dome.
Special thanks to our sponsors and friends including The Northern Ireland Bureau, The Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of America, Merrill Lynch, The Dupont Circle Hotel, Zurich, Microsoft and Susan O’Neill and Associates.