The Ireland Funds 45th Anniversary New York Gala Raises over $3 million for Charities and Causes Across the Island of Ireland

10th May, 2023 : New York

Press Releases

The Ireland Funds 45th Anniversary New York Gala Raises over $3 million for Charities and Causes Across the Island of Ireland

Manhattan, New York – May 4, 2023 –- Over 900 guests came together to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of The Ireland Funds New York Gala at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60. The Gala raised over $3 million making it the most successful ever in the history of the event.

John Murphy, President and Chief Financial Officer of The Coca-Cola Company received the Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Leadership Award in recognition of his achievements in business and philanthropy. He spoke of being a teenager in Co. Meath when The Ireland Funds was first established. “The trinity goals of the Fund: peace, culture, and charity, resonate a lot with me from my memories of what were pretty dark and grim days back in the 70’s,” said Mr. Murphy. “The Ireland Funds this year is going to make a massive difference in the lives of many people and in many communities that need our help.”

For its many philanthropic initiatives, the Daniel M. Rooney Ambassador Award was presented to The National Football League with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell receiving it on the NFL’s behalf. “The beauty of this evening is that whatever your heritage is, everyone is Irish tonight,” said Mr. Goodell. “I think we share a common bond with The Ireland Funds. The mission of this organization and the NFL have similarities, we are both intent on impacting our communities and the world around us. You do that every day through this organization and as the NFL, we hope to do the same.”

Also honored was screenwriter and playwright Lisa McGee, creator, writer and executive producer of the critically acclaimed series Derry Girls. She received The Ireland Funds Literary Award. She thanked The Ireland Funds and shared insights into her upbringing and work during an on-stage Q&A. “I’m very proud of where I come from,” said Ms. McGee. “All I set out to do when I wrote Derry Girls was to showcase a place I knew and loved but a place I felt was never truly represented on screen before. A place that refused to be defined by the many difficulties it faced, but wanted to be defined instead by its warmth and wit and generosity. It’s an amazing place to come from and I’m very privileged that I got to tell part of our story.”

“Forty-five years ago, our co-founders Dan Rooney and Tony O’Reilly established The Ireland Funds with an inaugural dinner here in New York,” said Caitriona Fottrell, President & CEO of The Ireland Funds. “Their vision of delivering philanthropic support to worthy causes across Ireland has not only been realized but exceeded thanks to our donors and friends in New York and around the globe. Tonight, is an opportunity to celebrate that commitment, camaraderie, and the profound difference our donors have made for thousands of outstanding not-for-profit organizations. It is also an honor to recognize our honorees: the National Football League, John Murphy, and Lisa McGee for their exemplary contributions to business, sport, and the arts.”

Notable guests at the 2023 Gala included Geraldine Byrne Nason, Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States; Helena Nolan, Consul General of Ireland; and Fergal Mythen, Ambassador of Ireland to the United Nations.

For more information on the work of The Ireland Funds visit

The Ireland Funds is a global philanthropic network established in 1976 to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland, and Irish-related causes around the world. With chapters in 12 countries, The Ireland Funds has raised over $600 million for deserving causes in Ireland and beyond, benefiting more than 3,200 different organizations.

Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner; Caitriona Fottrell, President & CEO of The Ireland Funds; John Murphy, President and CFO of The Coca-Cola Company; and Lisa McGee, creator of Derry Girls at The Ireland Funds 45th Anniversary New York Gala on May 4, 2023 in New York City.

Photograph by James Higgins