The American Ireland Fund associates will host their annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration on March 12 at 7 p.m. in the 200 Fifth Club, located at 200 Fifth Avenue, at 23rd Street, in Manhattan.
Music will be provided by the Sean Fleming Band. Raffle prizes include a trip to Ireland with lodgings in two of Ireland’s castles and hotels. Other prizes include Waterford Crystal, theater tickets, dinners and weekend trips. The event will also feature Irish dancers and a pipe and drum performance.
The associates are the next generation of the American Ireland Fund, which raises money to support programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, and education and community development in the North and South of Ireland. To date, the AIF has given out more than $100 million in grants.
Tickets the AIF associates’ party costs $75 in advance, $90 at the door and $100 for corporations. For tickets, call the AIF before March 4 at (212) 689-7600.
Celtic.com has announced a new Irish e-mail service and online Celtic community for the 70 million people of Irish descent around the world. Celtic.com enables people of Irish descent, wherever they are in the world, to communicate on a unique Celtic online space and to locate resources on all things Irish on the internet. Users of the service can chose from hundreds of e-mail addresses, including Irish towns and places, Irish communities around the world, Irish people and the Irish language. Services currently include a member directory, a web site directory, a shopping catalog, digital post cards and e-mail reminders. The man behind this venture is Dublin native Dermot O’Brien. For information, call (212) 214-0477 or log onto www.celtic.com
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Fidelity to Boston College
Boston College’s School of Education will be named the Peter S. and Carolyn A. Lynch School of Education in recognition of the couple’s endowment gift of more than $10 million, the largest individual gift ever made to Boston College. Peter Lynch, vicechairman of Fidelity Management and Research Company, is a 1965 graduate of Boston College and a member of its board of trustees. His father, Thomas Lynch, received a master’s degree from Boston College in 1929 and taught on the mathematics faculty for six years.
Ray MacSharry, former Irish government minister and European Union commissioner, is to be appointed as the new chairman of Coillte, the State-owned forestry company, according to news reports in Ireland. MacSharry, a Sligoman, was dubbed “Mac the Knife” for his willingness to slash government expenditure during his term as Ireland’s finance minister. Many see the discipline imposed by MacSharry as having been part of the foundation for the current Celtic Tiger economy. Having completed his term as European Commissioner, he left government to return to private life. He purchased a farm in Sligo and now holds several prestigious directorships, among them the Jefferson Smurfit Group, Green Property, Bank of Ireland, Ryanair Holdings and Telecom +ireann. He is also chairman of London City Airport in which Irish financier Dermot Desmond has a large stake. Coillte has more than _1 billion in land assets in Ireland. It is expected that the company will, eventually, either be floated or privatized.
Bausch & Lomb in Waterford is to be the production site for a revolutionary new soft contact lens which can be worn continuously for 30 days. The lens will be marketed in Europe from April. Speaking at the official opening of a _73 million expansion, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said that the company had grown at an incredible rate in its 18-year existence, starting in 1980 with 100 employees and growing to its present workforce of 1,400.
Win a Pub
It’s that time of year again when aspiring Irish pub-owners can enter the Guinness Win Your Own Pub in Ireland contest. This year’s pub on offer is J. O’Sullivan’s Pub in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. To enter, would-be publicans should complete the statement “The perfect pint of Guinness is . . .” in 50 words or less. Entry forms are available at on- and off- licence locations where Guinness and Harp are sold. Consumers 21 years and older may enter the contest by submitting their essay on an entry form or on an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper and mailing it to Guinness Contest, P.O. Box 61, Byron, Mich. 48418-0061 or via the Guinness website at www.guinness.ie All entries must be received by March 31.
From now until the end of April, CIE Tours International has an offer called “Go As You Please Ireland” self-drive vacations priced from $44 per person a day for traveling twosomes, or as low as $40 per day when four people go together. TransAtlantic fare is extra. The price per day covers the use of a self-drive car with unlimited mileage for a minimum of seven days, accommodations at a choice of more than 2,000 farmhouses and town and country homes, full Irish breakfast daily, and pre-booked reservation on the first night in the Shannon area. And starting May 3, CIE Tours International is offering a 10-day fully escorted tour of Ireland priced from $1,534, including airfare from New York, Newark or Boston. Details, (800) CIE-TOUR, call a travel agent or log onto www.cietours.com