By Harry Keaney
The 2000 American Celtic Ball, sponsored by the Ireland Chamber of Commerce in the U.S., will take place Thursday, Oct. 12, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
The black tie dinner dance, which celebrates the 12th anniversary of the founding of the Ireland Chamber, will this year honor Thomas J. Moran, president/CEO of Mutual of America; Thomas P. Mulcahy, group chief executive of Allied Irish Bank; Alfred E. Smith IV, managing director of Hunter Specialists, LLC and Chris DeBurgh, internationally-acclaimed singer-songwriter.
"A portion of the receipts from the American Celtic Ball will be donated to the Special Olympics World Games to be held in Ireland in 2003, the first time this wonderful project will take place outside the U.S.," ICCUSA president/CEO Maurice A. Buckley said.
Buckley pointed out that the Special Olympics program, founded in 1968, offers year-round sports training and athletic competitions for more than one million developmentally challenged children and adults.
Details about table reservations and ticket prices as well as information about advertising in the ACB Journal may be obtained by calling (212) 843-1715 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Meanwhile, Bernie Cahill, the chairman of Aer Lingus, will be presented with the Ireland-U.S. Council’s annual award for outstanding achievement at the organization’s 38th annual dinner on Nov. 2 in the Metropolitan Club in New York.
Aer Lingus’s IPO is expected next year. Former Heineken boss in the U.S., Michael Foley, the Irish airline’s new group chief executive officer, will be among those leading the roadshow. Foley has been selected by the Irish Business Organization of New York as the recipient of its 2000 Business Person of the Year at the IBO annual gala ball on Oct. 20 in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan.
Housing lending up
Irish banks and building societies are giving out more for house construction and purchases.
House loans and mortgage approvals jumped by a quarter to £1.9 billion over last year for the three months to June 2000, according to the Housing Statistics Bulletin.
And between the first and second quarter of 2000, there was a £300 million increase in loan approvals.
Aikins heads AIF
Tony O’Reilly, chairman of the Worldwide Ireland Funds, recently announced the appointment of Kingsley Aikins as president and CEO of the Worldwide Ireland Funds and The American Ireland Fund.
Ireland is turning up the heat in its war on Big Tobacco. If proposals by Health Minister Michael Martin ever become law, Ireland would have some of the toughest anti-tobacco laws in the world. Every outlet that sells cigarettes would have to be registered and self-service purchases from vending machines would be banned. Also proposed in a general ban on smoking in the workplace while RTE television might have to blot out tobacco advertisements that come into pictures from venues where sports events are held.
"I am particularly worried about children and young people," the minister said. "If we introduce these new laws it will mean that in future generations of Irish society we will have far reduced levels of smoking."
The minister said he wanted to introduce a "strict regime" to reduce the proportion of the population that smokes from 31 percent to 20 percent in a decade. He added that smoking was responsible for the deaths of 7,000 Irish people each year.
There was a time when the world’s finest ocean liners rolled off Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard. Now, however, the famous shipbuilders is struggling to survive.
The latest blow came last week when it was announced that more than 600 jobs would be lost, more than half the current workforce.