US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented with Lifetime Achievement Award by The Worldwide Ireland Funds

Dec 07, 2012, 09:24 ET from The Worldwide Ireland Funds

500 guests attend special event in the Titanic Building, Belfast

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Worldwide Ireland Funds presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to salute her commitment to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland over her two decades as First Lady, US Senator and Secretary of State.

The specially commissioned Belleek China piece was presented at a luncheon hosted by The Worldwide Ireland Funds in front of 500 guests from all sides of the community in Northern Ireland as well as business, civic, community and cultural leaders.  Special guests who attended the event included The First Minister and Deputy First minister of Northern Ireland, along with members of the diplomatic, sporting and entertainment worlds.

This was the Secretary of State's 7th visit to Northern Ireland and was part of her last foreign mission in that role. 

Commenting, Kieran McLoughlin, President & CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds said, ''It is an honour for us to recognise Hillary Clinton's lifelong concern and engagement with Northern Ireland.  Throughout that time she has connected not only with political leaders but also with community activists knitting the community together at grass roots level.  She represents the passionate support of the Irish diaspora for the Peace Process.  The Ireland Funds have supported hundreds of groups across Northern Ireland for over 35 years and continue to do so today through our Promising Ireland Campaign.  Today's lunch is a celebration of the progress in Northern Ireland and the woman who has done so much to bring it about.''

The award presented to Secretary of State Clinton was a unique piece of Belleek China from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. The one-off piece symbolically showed a basket of flowers from Northern Ireland as well as flowers from the Secretary's home state of Illinois and other symbols of Northern Ireland.

Past honorees and award winners from The Worldwide Ireland Funds have included:

  • Seamus Heaney
  • Muhammad Ali
  • Bono
  • Irish Taoiseach,  Enda Kenny, TD
  • US Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney
  • Sen. George Mitchell

About The Worldwide Ireland Funds:

The Worldwide Ireland Funds is an international philanthropic network operating in 12 countries that has raised over $430 million for worthy causes in Ireland and around the world. The mission of The Worldwide Ireland Funds is to be the largest network of friends of Ireland dedicated to supporting programs of peace and reconciliation, arts and culture, education and community development throughout the island of Ireland. Founded in 1976, The Worldwide Ireland Funds have assisted over 1,200 organisations.

In response to the severe downturn in the Irish Economy, The Worldwide Ireland Funds launched the Promising Ireland Campaign in 2009 to raise $100 million by the end of 2013 to support charities that are experiencing an increased demand for their services at a time of a major reduction in resources. The initial campaign goal of  $100 million was reached 19 months  early and the goal was revised to $140 million, requiring the Fund to raise $1 million a month until December 2013. The campaign's title, Promising Ireland, reflects the Funds' pledge to these groups as well as their belief in Ireland's future. Over 350 outstanding projects and organizations have received support from the Promising Ireland Campaign.

SOURCE The Worldwide Ireland Funds