Goodwill from US is inspiring -- Higgins
THE reservoir of goodwill Ireland enjoys in the United States is both a source of inspiration and practical support, President Michael D Higgins told a New York gathering.
Mr Higgins brushed shoulders with the elite of Irish America at the 37th annual American Ireland Fund Gala.
Close to 1,400 people poured into a vast marquee at the Lincoln Centre, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, for one of the biggest events on the Irish-American calendar.
Among them were media magnate Martha Stewart; New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan; Irish author Colum McCann; and 'The Voice' judge and musician Sharon Corr.
Former Dublin footballer and chief executive of the Gaelic Players' Association, Dessie Farrell, was also there. Addressing the huge crowd, Mr Higgins congratulated the fund on having raised $120m (€92m) in the past three years alone for its Promising Ireland campaign.
"On behalf of the people of Ireland, I want to express my deep appreciation for this sustained engagement and support," he said.
"As we work together to overcome our challenges at home, this great reservoir of goodwill that we enjoy in the United States remains for us both a source of inspiration and of practical support, and we cherish this support and these connections."
More than 300 Irish charities have benefited from the Promising Ireland campaign, including Barretstown House, which runs programmes for seriously ill children.
Yesterday, Mr Higgins flew to Boston to address a business lunch organised by the IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Innovation Ireland and Bord Bia.