The Ireland Funds honored House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Peter King at its gala celebrated Irish America’s commitment to peace and reconciliation while raising key support for Irish nonprofit organizations.

The Ireland Funds hosted its 28th Annual National Gala at The National Building Museum in Washington, D.C on Wednesday, March 11. An Taoiseach (Ireland's Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar addressed the 600+ guests attending The Ireland Funds’ event as part of his multi-stop St. Patrick’s Day visit to the United States.

The gala’s theme was “A Celebration of Irish America’s Commitment to Peace and Reconciliation.”  The event honored leaders in business and government.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of the U.S. House of Representatives received The Ireland Funds Distinguished Leadership Award and Matthew Shay, President and CEO of the National Retail Federation received The Ireland Funds Business Leadership Award. Special recognition was given to Congressman Peter King, Co-Chair of Friends of Ireland in Congress.

David Cronin, President & CEO of The Ireland Funds America makes a presentation to the evening’s Honoree House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. From left: Shaun Kelly, Vice Chairman of The Ireland Funds America and Congressman Richie Neal. The event’s theme was A Celebration of Irish America’s Commitment to Peace and Reconciliation.

David Cronin, President & CEO of The Ireland Funds America makes a presentation to the evening’s Honoree House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. From left: Shaun Kelly, Vice Chairman of The Ireland Funds America and Congressman Richie Neal. The event’s theme was A Celebration of Irish America’s Commitment to Peace and Reconciliation.

“Tonight’s event celebrates not only importance of the ties between the U.S. and the island of Ireland, but also the efforts of so many in Washington D.C. to strengthen peace and reconciliation, which is one of the pillars of The Ireland Funds’ mission,” said David Cronin, President & CEO of The Ireland Funds America.

“It is an honor to recognize the accomplishments of Nancy Pelosi, Matthew Shay, and Congressman Peter King. All three personify the spirit of The Ireland Funds in their devotion to leadership and public service.”

The evening was a gathering of Irish and Irish American leaders in business, government, philanthropy and the arts. The event celebrated Irish culture and heritage and generated support for the work of The Ireland Funds. The annual Gala is a key opportunity to celebrate Irish-American relations in the presence of key decision-makers providing a unique platform to advance the Irish agenda in America.

Guests of note included H.E. Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador to the U.S; H.E. Edward F. Crawford U.S. Ambassador to Ireland; Michael Tatham, The British Embassy Charge d’Affaires; and Representative Richard E. Neal, Chairman of Friends of Ireland in Congress.

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.

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David Cronin, President & CEO of The Ireland Funds America welcomes the evening’s Honoree House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Shaun Kelly, Vice Chairman of The Ireland Funds America. The event’s theme was A Celebration of Irish America’s Commitment to Peace and Reconciliation.Erika Layne.