Corina Galvin, Sinead Naughton, and Fiona Walsh Are the first to receive “Women Of Ireland Awards”
On St. Brigid’s Day the New York Irish Center in Long Island City, inaugurated the Women of Ireland Awards, a new award recognizing achievement in business, community support, and the arts, and presented to three New York area-based women of Irish descent. The first honorees, Corina Galvin, Sinead Naughton, and Fiona Walsh, were feted in the Center’s storefront theater Reilly Room at a cocktail reception with entertainment hosted by the reigning Rose of Tralee, Róisín Wiley, and Ireland’s Consul General to New York Helena Nolan. As part of the festivities, and prior to the conferring of the awards, Ms. Nolan led a brief panel talk on women’s topics with Andrea Haughian of Invest Northern Ireland, Tourism Ireland’s Alison Metcalfe, and the author Yvonne Cassidy.
“We felt this would be the perfect way to celebrate St. Brigid’s Day,” said the New York Irish Center’s executive director George Heslin, referring to Ireland’s newest national holiday. “And judging from the excitement and pure joy in the room, this needs to be an annual event.”
Consul General Nolan’s briskly paced and thoughtful conversation with her hand-picked panel was organized to offer a compact survey of the many challenges, opportunities, and strategies for success facing New York women in today’s boisterous social climate. “These Irish and Irish American women in New York do us proud as role models, like Brigid, for creativity, leadership, peacemaking and innovation.“ Nolan told the predominantly female crowd.
“The talk was enlightening thanks to the remarkable women who took part,” Heslin added. “Best of all it contextualized the achievements of our honorees so that they could shine and be themselves without long speeches.”The three Women of Ireland Award winners were – American Express Global Business Travel Planner Corina Galvin (Women of Ireland Community Leadership Award); Sinead Naughton who owns and operates a number of hospitality establishments (Women of Ireland Business Leadership Award), and the comedian, actor, writer and music producer Fiona Walsh on whom will be bestowed the Women of Ireland Cultural Leadership Award.
About the winners, Ms. Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s Executive VP USA & Canada, observed: “Marking the advent of spring in Ireland – a time of unfolding celebration of life and hospitality on the island, we honoured not only the timeless legacy of Ireland’s matron saint St. Brigid on the 1500th anniversary of her passing but underscored the ongoing importance of championing Ireland’s influential and creative women of today.”
The evening’s emcee was Rose of Tralee Róisín Wiley, who commented, “I continue to be amazed and inspired by the community of Irish women in New York, and we are very lucky to have the support of the New York Irish Center to bring us together!” As the New York Rose, the Westchester native was picked to be the top rose at the famous international festival for young women of Irish descent from Ireland and around the world, which took place in August at the Rose Dome in County Kerry.
After receiving her award, Walsh helped segue the ceremony into an even more celebratory mode, spinning discs for a little extra revelry that lasted well into the evening.
Women of Ireland – A New York Celebration” took place at the NY Irish Center on Thursday, February 1st in celebration of St. Brigid’s Day. NYIC’s next large-scale community event will be its 3RD Annual 40 SHADES OF GREEN Cultural Cabaret, a six-hour marathon featuring a feast of performers and local luminaries from the five boroughs and beyond. Rated a Time Out NY Top 5 Pick two years in a row, this fast-growing post-parade cultural showcase runs non-stop on Saturday, March 16, from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Tickets on sale at www.NewYorkIrishCenter.org
The New York Irish Center is a hub for culture and community enrichment serving diverse constituencies in Long Island City, the NY Irish Center (NYIC) programs a wide variety of cultural events spanning film, theater, comedy, books, and traditional and contemporary music. NYIC’s social support programs include classes, networking, and outreach for LGBTQ+ individuals, seniors, and children.