The Worldwide Ireland Funds presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to salute her commitment to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland over her two decades as First Lady, US Senator and Secretary of State.
The specially commissioned Belleek China piece was presented at a luncheon hosted by The Worldwide Ireland Funds in front of 500 guests from all sides of the community in Northern Ireland as well as business, civic, community and cultural leaders. Special guests who attended the event included The First Minister and Deputy First minister of Northern Ireland, along with members of the diplomatic, sporting and entertainment worlds.
This was the Secretary of State’s 7th visit to Northern Ireland and was part of her last foreign mission in that role.
Commenting, Kieran McLoughlin, President and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds said ‘’It is an honor for us to recognize Hillary Clinton’s lifelong concern and engagement with Northern Ireland. Throughout that time she has connected not only with political leaders but also with community activists knitting the community together at grass roots level. She represents the passionate support of the Irish Diaspora for the Peace Process. The Ireland Funds have supported hundreds of groups across Northern Ireland for over 35 years and continue to do so today through our Promising Ireland Campaign.’’
The award presented to Secretary of State Clinton was a unique piece of Belleek china from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. The one-off piece symbolically showed a basket of flowers from Northern Ireland as well as flowers from the Secretary’s home state of Illinois and other symbols of Northern Ireland.
Past honorees and award winners from The Worldwide Ireland Funds have included Seamus Heaney, Muhammad Ali, Bono, Irish Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, US Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney and Senator George Mitchell.