Former President Bill Clinton is making a surprise trip to Ireland next Wednesday for a charitable event, IrishCentral has learned.
He will be special guest at a Philanthropy Ireland fundraiser in Dublin after flying in from London on Wednesday.
The presence of the former U.S. president, who is immensely popular in Ireland, is expected to be a huge draw and over 200 top leaders are expected to attend.
He was last in Ireland at the Worldwide Ireland Funds dinner in Cork in 2011 but only stayed a few hours.
Clinton played a critical role in the Northern Irish peace process when he gave a visa to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams which led to the IRA ceasefire in 1994 and later he appointed Senator George Mitchell to chair the peace talks. He has called his 1995 visit to Northern Ireland, when he was met by adoring crowds, the highlight of his presidency.
Philanthropy Ireland was established to create the next generation of philanthropists in Ireland, especially as two of the largest charities Atlantic foundation and the One Foundation will soon have completed their mission in Ireland.
That leaves the American Ireland Fund as the only major charity left.
The Irish government and also leading businessmen such as Denis O’Brien, a close friend of the Clintons, back Philanthropy Ireland.