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Annual US-Ireland Alliance/Morgan Stanley Net-Éire London Reception


LINK TO PHOTOS  (by Stefan Rousseau): 


September 15, 2017.  Last night in London, Ireland’s new Ambassador to the UK, Adrian O’Neill, was the special guest at the US-Ireland Alliance/Morgan Stanley annual reception, which was held at The Marylebone, a Doyle Collection Hotel in London.

Caroline McLaughlin of the Net-Éire Group at Morgan Stanley welcomed guests and introduced US-Ireland founder and president, Trina Vargo.  Trina spoke about the organization’s raison d’être, successes, challenges and goals and she introduced Ambassador O’Neill.  Trina and the Ambassador have known each other since the mid-90s when Adrian was posted in Boston and Washington, and Trina was Senator Ted Kennedy’s foreign policy adviser.  Ambassador O’Neill recalled when Trina first had the idea for the US-Ireland Alliance and echoed her concerns about the future of the relationship and spoke of changing demographics in the US, which have resulted in the decline of the numbers of Americans who are identifying as Irish-American.  He spoke highly of the Alliance’s George J. Mitchell Scholarship program.   The Ambassador also gave an outline of how he’d spent the earlier part of the day, providing an interesting look at the diverse strands of activities that make up the Irish-UK relationship.     

Among the 80 guests were property investor Derek Quinlan and the Doyle Collection’s Bernie Gallagher, both long-time supporters of the US-Ireland Alliance.  Actress, and Tony Award nominee, Sarah Greene was on hand, weeks before she takes on the role of Caitlin Carney in the acclaimed play, The Ferryman at the Gielgud Theatre in London.  The play, which takes place in Northern Ireland in 1981, was written by Jez Butterworth and is directed by Sam Mendes. Sarah was the recipient of a an Oscar Wilde Award at an event the Alliance annually holds at J.J. Abram’s Bad Robot production company in Santa Monica.  Two Mitchell Scholars, Sarah Bufkin (a Queen’s University Mitchell Scholar now doing her PhD at Oxford) and Winnie Li (a UCC Mitchell Scholar with the recent book publication of Dark Chapter) were also present.  Also seen in the room were Northern Ireland writer Glenn Patterson, South African vineyard owners Edwin and Rosie Doran, and Deputy Catherine McGuinness, policy chairman of the City of London Corporation. 

Morgan Stanley, via president Colm Kelleher, is an annual supporter of a Mitchell Scholarship and has long supported this annual event with the US-Ireland Alliance in London.  Many of Morgan Stanley’s Net Éire members, including Michael O'Dwyer, Managing Director from Investment Banking, and EMEA Head of Marketing Lisa McBreen were present.  The Mitchell Scholarship program is also currently being supported by Ireland’s Department of Education and Skills, Pfizer and the American Ireland Fund.