connect 2018 • 57 NEW YORK AROUND THE WORLD April, 2018 On the morning of April 26, supporters of The Ireland Funds gathered in New York’s iconic Rainbow Room for a keynote address with the 11th President of Ireland, President Michael D. Higgins. President Higgins was visiting New York on a five-day trip and addressed the group as part of The Ireland Funds Women’s Leadership Series. John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The Ireland Funds America, opened proceedings by welcoming President Higgins and his wife Mrs. Sabina Higgins. The President then thanked John Fitzpatrick for the invitation to speak and congratulated The Ireland Funds on all it had achieved over the past 40+ years since its founding. He referred to The Ireland Funds Women’s Leadership Series as a ‘a most important initiative’ and spoke of the advances made towards gender equality as well as the work that still needed to be done. He stated that Ireland believes in ‘removing all barriers’ and that it was privilege for Ireland to lead as Chair of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. President Higgins also saluted the role of women in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Following his address he was joined on stage by Mary Murphy of Pix11 for question and answers and then took questions from the floor. Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President & CEO of The Ireland Funds, wrapped up the official proceedings by thanking the President for his time and insightful remarks. New York Women's Leadership Series Breakfast with President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins 1 4 2 5 7 6 8 3 1 John Fitzpatrick, Bridget Moynahan 2 President Michael D. Higgins, Mary Murphy 3 Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Consul General Ciaran Madden, Commissioner James O’Neill 4 President Michael D. Higgins, Susan Davis 5 Sabina Higgins, President Michael D. Higgins, Tom Quick 6 Sabina Higgins, President Michael D. Higgins, Kara Ross 7 Guests gathered in the Rainbow Room 8 President Michael D. Higgins addressing guests Photos: James Higgins