This year’s honorees were former senator and peace broker, George Mitchell and Brehon Law Society immediate past president, Kelly O’Neill.
O’Neill has the law in her blood: she is Paul O’Dwyer’s grand niece and is a court employee.
Mitchell needed no introduction, and spoke to the 200-plus crowd at length about his work during the crucial months leading to the Good Friday Agreem,ent, and of his pride to have been involved in the process.
Addressing the process since 1998, and its frequent stumbles, he expressed sincere hope and confidewnce that the peace process will work.
One Brehon Law member summed Mitchell up as “charming and hilarious,” and praised him for spending the entire evening with the society.
A giant bouquet of flowers was presented to Mitchell’s wife Heather, for her “patience, fortitude and generosity” during her husband’s marathon negotiations, when he was frequently separated from her for long periods of time.
The evening continued late into the night and at one point patrons welcomed Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness and Pat Doherty, who were attending another event nearby.