The national Rotary Ireland Conference took place from 29th Sept-2nd Oct at the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, Co. Kildare. Almost 400 international and national delegates gathered to discuss some key social and humanitarian issues that the world at large faces today and the role that we, as Irish people play in tackling and supporting people in need around the globe.
The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Rotary Serving Humanity’ and the various speakers relayed this message throughout the weekend. Speakers included An Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald TD, Oscar nominated film maker, Jim Sheridan, founder of ‘Right to Sight’, Dr. Kate Coleman, consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon, Dr. Mohammed Sattar, journalist Kevin Myers, broadcaster Tracy Piggott, Irish National Stud, CEO John Osborne, artist Michael Hanrahan, conflict mediator, Enda Young and historian and explorer Jonathan Shackleton.
On the first evening of the conference delegates enjoyed a fellowship evening at Ceannt Officers Mess at the Curragh Camp which was hosted by Brig Gen Joe Mulligan. The evening included a BBQ with spectacular food being served by the army chefs. On arrival, guests were met with music from a bagpiper and actors dressed as mythical Irish characters bearing Irish Wolfhounds. The Army No 1 Band accompanied by soprano Lorraine Nolan played before dinner and guests were invited to view a full birds of prey display featuring rare Irish, European and American birds. Later, guests were treated to a surprise performance by the Dublin Welsh Male Voice choir.
District Governor, Gerry Kierans said, “the speakers were really inspiring and they told so many stories of the very real struggles and challenges that humanity faces today. There are great inequities in the world and there has not been such mass displacement of people since the end of the second world war. Our aim is to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programmes. Our ultimate vision is to work for a better, more equitable world where justice will prevail”.
On the second evening of the conference guests enjoyed a black tie gala dinner. A posthumous special award was made to the family of Rotarian, Garvin Evans who, famously was the father of U2’s, The Edge. Garvin’s son, Richard (Dick) and Richard’s wife, Miranda accepted the award which recognised the significant impact Mr. Evans has made in his life to Rotary’s global polio eradication initiative.
The couple were presented with an ‘End Polio Now’ crystal in recognition of Garvin’s work throughout his life. Gerry Kierans said, “By agreeing to be interviewed for the cover story of the May 2016 THE ROTARIAN, and participating in the End Polio Now ‘This Close’ photo-shoot with The Edge, Garvin brought the message of the ongoing fight to eradicate polio to tens of thousands of people, many of whom who are not Rotarians. This is above and beyond his decades-long involvement with the Rotary Club of Dublin North and District 1160 in support of PolioPlus. And it is particularly appropriate that Garvin’s engraved End Polio Now crystal is one with the green hue, considering that he is Irish!”
Rotary originally started in Chicago as a business and charitable network with Dublin, Ireland being the first club outside the USA. Rotary Ireland, an all island district, is part of Rotary International, the world’s largest service organisation with over 1.2 million members in 200 countries.
For further press information please call Aileen O’Brien or Tracey Maher at O’Brien PR (045) 407017. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Aileen mobile (086) 8403624. District Governor Gerry Kierans and Rotary Club of Newbridge President Barry Fitzsimons are available for interview upon request, and some of the speakers may also be available.