On Thursday evening, over 1,000 guests from the spheres of business, the arts and politics came together to support the largest of the 150 global events held each year by The Ireland Funds, raising $3 million for Irish charities and causes.
Held annually in May, the Gala is now one of the key social events on the NYC calendar. Over the course of its 43-year history, the annual event has raised over $60 million in support of hundreds of Irish charities and causes.
Golden Globe-winning actor Colin Farrell was recognized by The Ireland Funds with its Performing Arts Award in recognition of his work as an ambassador of Irish culture throughout his extensive film career.
He has created awareness around the work of many organizations assisted by The Ireland Funds including Special Olympics, Fighting Words, Crumlin Children’s Hospital, and BeLonG To Youth Services.
The Dubliner recently wrapped production on the New Regency drama “Widows” directed by Steve McQueen starring opposite Viola Davis, and the Disney live-action film “Dumbo” directed by Tim Burton, set for release in March 2019.
Also recognized on the evening was Stephen R. Howe, Jr, US Chairman & Americas Managing Partner of EY. He received the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Leadership Award which annually recognizes a person of outstanding character and business acumen.
He has been honored by the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) as a Directorship 100 honoree, recognizing him as one of the most influential leaders in the boardroom and corporate governance community.
Accounting Today named Steve to their “Top 100 Most Influential People” list of the thought leaders and visionaries shaping the accounting profession. Stephen is a proud Irish American and a great champion of the Irish American community.
“Tonight’s Gala exceeded our already-ambitious goals,” said Kieran McLoughlin, Worldwide President & CEO of The Ireland Funds.
“Once again our network of donors and friends have come together to raise significant support for the island of Ireland. This impact will be felt by thousands of people who benefit from the outstanding nonprofit organizations supported by The Ireland Funds.”
“Events such as this express the power of philanthropy and for that, we are immensely grateful,” said John Fitzpatrick, Chairman of The Ireland Funds America.
“The ties between the island of Ireland and its diaspora are stronger than ever and that has truly been demonstrated tonight through our donors’ generosity.”
The evening was Co-Chaired by Jennifer Morgan, President of Americas and Asia Pacific, SAP; Kelly Grier, US Chairman and Americas Managing Partner Elect, EY; and Michael Dowling, President and CEO, Northwell Health.
Notable guests at the 2018 Gala included actor Liam Neeson; Ciarán Madden, Ireland’s Consul General; Antony Phillipson, British Consul General; Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Heather Humphreys, Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise & Innovation.