Former President Bill Clinton is to visit Ireland this week where he will deliver a keynote address at the annual conference of the worldwide Ireland Funds in Cork. 

The three day conference begins this Thursday at the Castlemartyr Resort in East Cork and is expected to attract more than 200 business leaders, Ireland fund board members, and senior politicians including Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny.

Clinton will address the conference on Friday where he will discuss the importance of philanthropy and reiterate his support for Ireland.

Kieran McLoughlin, president and CEO of the Funds, welcomed Clinton’s participation.

"We are thrilled that [former] president Clinton is travelling to Cork to show his continuing solidarity with Ireland and to mark the success of the Ireland Funds ‘Promising Ireland Campaign’ and the generosity of our donors."

Clinton’s second visit to Ireland this year has been coordinated by Tipperary born Teneo CEO, Declan Kelly.

Over the past year, the Ireland funds have received unprecedented applications for funding.

During the three-day event, it is expected that the fund will announce their expanded financial goal.
Caitriona Fottrell, vice- president and director of the Irish chapter of the Funds described the increase as a sign of hope.

"There is no doubt that the recession has seen an increasing demand for charitable services, but we also see those charities responding in innovative ways and this gives us cause for hope for the future," she told the Irish Examiner.

In May the Worldwide Ireland Funds announced that its Promising Ireland campaign had overtaken its $100 million goal 19 months early.

Former US President Bill ClintonGoogle Images