connect 2018 • 79 CANADA AROUND THE WORLD March, 2018 The Ireland Funds Canada Annual St. Patrick’s Day Lunch was another sold-out event this year. Over 900 people gathered in Toronto’s Convention Center to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and to honor General John de Chastelain. In recognition of General de Chastelain’s significant role in the Northern Ireland peace process, Oliver Murray, Chair of The Ireland Funds Canada, presented de Chastelain with the Bird and Bell Award. Speaking at the event, Oliver acknowledged that 20 years since the Good Friday Agreement, “The Bird and Bell Award is a well-deserved recognition of the great work that General de Chastelain accomplished during his time in Ireland as a member of the Mitchell Commission, co-Chair of the Multi Party Talks leading to the Good Friday Agreement; but more especially as the man who oversaw the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons at the end of the Troubles. De Chastelain is a proud Irish Canadian and a true friend of Ireland.” After a prolonged standing ovation from all in attendance, General de Chastelain thanked The Ireland Funds for the special award and for its role in helping to create the conditions for peace in Northern Ireland and for continued support of important initiatives such as Integrated Education. The Ireland Funds Canada St. Patrick’s Day Lunch 1 4 7 2 5 8 3 6 1 Pat & Collette Canavan 2 Gail Dunne, Carolyn Dunne, Eithne Heffernan 3 Colleen Donnelly, Oliver Murray 4 Rod Black 5 General John de Chastelain 6 Minister Denis Naughten 7 Adrienne Oliver, Dana Welch 8 Cathy Murphy, Jane Noonan, Dana Welch Photos: Rick O'Brien