Eloquent tributes were paid to departing Chairman of the Worldwide Ireland Funds Loretta Brennan Glucksman at the organization’s annual Irish conference at the K Club in Kildare on Friday evening. She will step aside at the end of this year.

Ex-U.S. Ambassador Dan Rooney and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny led the tributes to Brennan Glucksman, who will retain the title of Chairman Emeritus. Over 400 attended the annual dinner including 200 from North America.

Ambassador Rooney recalled when he and co-founder of the American Ireland Fund Tony O’Reilly approached Loretta and told her that they wanted her as the new chairperson. “She graciously agreed and went on to make history,”  he stated.

He said the growth of the fund and its dramatic fundraising success had been down in large part to Brennan Glucksman’s amazing work on its behalf.

“Loretta has made a profound difference,” he stated.

Irish leader Enda Kenny also had fulsome praise for Glucksman who steps down after 15 years. He warned incoming chairman John Fitzpatrick that he had a very tough act to follow and that it was the “hottest of hot seats.”

“On behalf of the Irish people I want to thank Loretta for her dedicated work,” he stated, noting that the huge success in recent years of the Promising Ireland campaign had been due in large part to her drive and determination.

It was also noted that Loretta Brennan and her husband Lou had contributed $27 million themselves to projects in Ireland.

One of Ireland’s most prominent artists James Hanley presented Loretta with an oil portrait on the evening.