Principal IFAA Events and Activities are listed below. Other events and activities are organised on an ad hoc basis or in response to emerging issues.
Activities of the Irish Fulbright Alumni Association
- The publication twice yearly of the Alumni Newsletter.
- The updating of the Alumni Directory.
- The Annual Fulbright Scholars' Dinner.
- The Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.
- The Annual Visit to the National Concert Hall.
- The frequent meetings of the Alumni Association Board
- Monthly Comhluadar meeting where visiting U.S. Fulbrighters, Fulbright Alumni and friends can meet and socialise.
Welcome Home event 2017
This year's Welcome Home event will take place on Friday 15 September in Oscar's Bar, Christchurch, Dublin from 8pm. This is a great opportunity to connect with and offer a warm welcome to the 2016-2017 cohort of Fulbright awardees returning to Ireland from the US, while also reuniting with all of you Fulbright alumni from years gone by, welcoming the 17-18 US Fulbright Scholars to Ireland and connecting to members of the extended Fulbright family - SUSI recipients and more.
Please RSVP to Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh, IFAA Communications Officer by Monday 10 September.
Scholars' Dinner 2017
Our Annual Scholars' Dinner took place on June 9th in the salubrious surroundings of George's Hall, Dublin Castle. This event celebrates the achievements of this year's Fulbright Awardees.
Congratulations to our new board members following their election and appointment at the recent IFAA AGM. Our president is Dr Anne Cleary and Sinéad Murnane is the vice-president. Both have served on the board in various officer roles over the years. We are sorry to lose Professor Darach Turley who leaves the board after many years and we thank him for his huge contribution as Honorary Secretary and Membership Secretary, and for the many IFAA concert visits he organised. However, we look forward to meeting him at future IFAA events.
IUSA Annual Congress 2017
Congratulations to our fellow organisation the IUSA on the success of their recent Annual Congress which was held in the Westbury Hotel. We are also delighted to congratulate IFAA President Emerita Thérèse Fahy who was presented the IUSA Distinguished Alumni Award 2017 by his Excellency Ambassador Kevin O'Malley.
Ambassador O'Malley at the IUSA Congress in the Westbury Hotel, Dublin.
Thérèse Fahy receiving her IUSA award from Ambassador Kevin O'Malley.
Thérèse with her IFAA supporters.
Ambassador Kevin O'Malley
It is with regret that we bid farewell to his Excellency Ambassador Kevin O'Malley. During his time as ambassador in Ireland he showed great support to the IFAA, attending many events. His Creative Minds series was a great success as well as being highly informative and entertaining. He had a warm welcome for all at Deerfield, his residence at the Phoenix Park. We wish him every success for the future. Click here for a lovely video tribute to him.
IFAA President Jimmy O'Brien Moran welcoming Ambassador O'Malley to the IFAA Scholars' Dinner at Dublin Castle.
IFAA Thanksgiving Dinner
The IFAA Thanksgiving Dinner took place in the Athenaeum House Hotel near Waterford with the support of Waterford Institute of Technology. There was a good attendance and our guests of honour included Professor Willie Donnelly, President of WIT, and Mrs Eileen Ryan, Waterford's senior Fulbrighter (1959). The evening began with a glass of Prosecco, followed by a sumptuous Thanksgiving meal. The speeches were short and Eileen Ryan treated us to her memories of an Irish Fulbrighter in New York in 1959. A jazz ensemble entertained us with some gentle jazz classics as the meal ended. Several of the US Fulbrighters were coerced into playing guitar and singing and the evening finished with some rousing choruses from Teresa Lynn, Emma Loughney and our own Lisa Nic an Bhreithimh. When visiting Ireland's oldest city, a tour of Waterford Treasures Museum and the Bishop's Palace is a must. Therefore, on Saturday morning, the Thanksgiving group took the tour, courtesy of WIT. The Great Parchment Book of Waterford, at the museum, was a source of amazement to many of our visitors, with some manuscripts dating back to the 14th century. Also fascinating were the 16th century religious vestments (heavily embroidered in real gold thread) that survived the Cromwellian Era by being hidden. Forgotten about, they were rediscovered after about three hundred years. The Thanksgiving events finished with a tour of the WIT School of Architecture in the Granary on the Quay, followed by a delicious lunch with chocolate biscuit cake for desert. My thanks to Anne Graham Cagney for all her work in organising this event and to Kathryn Kiely and Susie Cullinane of the RSU at WIT for their support.
WIT President Professor Willie Donnelly with Eileen Ryan (Fulbright 1959) and IFAA President Jimmy O'Brien Moran
WIT President Professor Willie Donnelly with members of the IFAA Board at the Thanksgiving Dinner in Waterford
WIT President Professor Willie Donnelly addressing the US Fulbrighters and IFAA guests
Some of the US Fulbrighters in the Waterford Medieval Museum on a tour sponsored by WIT
This year's Welcome! event took place in Buswell's Hotel, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 on Friday October 14th. It was great to see so many US Fulbrighters attend and all professed to having had a great night. Our thanks to Sinead Murnane, our Honorary Secretary, who organised the Welcome Event.
Not so Recent News
Annual IFAA Scholars' Dinner
Some photos from last year's IFAA Scholars' Dinner took place at George's Hall in Dublin Castle on Friday June 17th 2016. Our guests of honour included the US Ambassador Mr Kevin O'Malley and Senator Alice Mary Higgins, as well as representatives of our sponsoring institutions. We were also delighted that a number of our earliest awardees (from the 1950s and 1960s could attend).
US Ambassador Kevin O'Malley and IFAA Membership Secretary Darach Turley at the Scholars' Dinner in Dublin Castle, 2016.
Senator Alice Mary Higgins and Mary McPartlan at the Scholars' Dinner
Darach Turley with Abaigeal and Andrew Jackson
Osian Tam, Siobhán Ní Mhuimhneacháin, and Niamh O'Mahony
Former IFAA President Thérèse Fahy at the Scholars' Dinner, 2016.
Dylan Bible (guitar) and Jimmy O'Brien Moran perform
Ronan Sugrue entertaining the guests
Mary McPartlan sings from her Jean Ritchie tribute CD
Concertina maestro Tim Collins ends the musical entertainment with Dylan and Jimmy at the Scholars' Dinner
Ocáid Ghaelach IFAA ag ceiliúradh 1916 le ceol agus filíocht/ Event to commemorate 1916 with music and poetry
This was a fascinating event where composer Ódhrán Ó Casaide gave some insight into his composition MARBHNA - REQUIEM 1916. His talk covered the personal nature of the composition, the inspiration, the models, the influences, and the trials and tribulations encountered during the compositional process. All in all it was a fascinating insight to this composition. Following the talk, refreshments and snacks were served. The event took place in the Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre, in the former sitting room of the great Daniel O'Connell. From those windows he occasionally addressed the crowds gathered in Merrion Square to listen to him, at the height of his popularity and fame. Our thanks to Ódhrán and his daughter for their musical performances and the fascinating talk. Our thanks also to IFAA Treasurer Nóirín Ní Laighin who organised the event as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge, and to Elaine Ní Bhraonáin and Louise Marron of the Keough Naughton Notre Dame Centre for a most enjoyable and successful evening.
Congratulations to Nobel Prize Winner and Irish Fulbrighter Dr William Campbell
Professor William Campbell (centre) receiving an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin in 2012, with the University Chancellor Dr Mary Robinson and the University Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast
Our congratulations to Irish Fulbrighter Dr William Campbell on being awarded the Nobel Prize. A native of Ramelton, Co. Donegal, Dr Campbell is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Wisconsin where he received his doctorate in 1957. His research at the pharmaceutical company Merck was critical to the discovery of a drug that reduces the incidence of parasitic diseases which cause River Blindness and Elephantiasis. Furthermore, he was instrumental in convincing Merck to distribute the treatment free to the many sufferers of River Blindness and some 25 million people are treated annually. He is the third Trinity recipient of a Nobel Prize joining E.T.S. Walton and Samuel Beckett. We wish him well in his success.
We are always keen to encourage our members to join us in serving our Alumni community. If you are interested in your name being put forward to join the Board, or if you wish to nominate someone (with their permission, of course!), please contact Darach Turley prior to our meeting.