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Over 250 guests of the Leeds Irish business community took their seats alongside His Excellency the Ambassador of Ireland, Adrian O’Neill as we hosted our first ever fundraising dinner dance, and the night exceeded all our expectations!

The Leeds Irish Centre was the venue as Tom, Christy, Liam and all the team ensured that the scene was set beautifully and a warm ambience to ensure a fantastic night was ahead for all to enjoy.   Rachael Loftus, Chair of LIHH welcomed guests warmly and introduced our video ‘The Importance of Being Irish’The video highlights the importance of a culturally sensitive dementia support service and is told in the words and personal stories of Irish families living with a loved one with memory loss.

Clearly moved by the stories told, Ambassador O’Neill praised the work of Leeds Irish Health & Homes and encouraged business owners to support and come together to address the needs of our shared community.  Ambassador O’Neill’s poignant words “We live in the shelter of one another” will long echo in our thoughts.

With music in full flow from Sean Wilson & Tony Mac and a late disco from Tommy K had everyone off their seats and enjoying the night as the cráic was in full flow!

The night was dedicated to raising vital funds to ensure our person-centred dementia awareness and reminiscence service, Aran Home Support continues. Aran is a service that we offer currently with its initial funding coming to an end  We have set a fundraising target of £30,000 with every penny going towards this vital service.  With the proceeds from the raffle, auction, generous sponsorship and donations at the event we are delighted to report that we raised a total of £ 7,000 which has got us off to an incredible start!

Life-long Leeds supporter Ambassador O’Neill was earlier in the day treated to watching his favourite team Leeds United play Brentford from a directors box at Elland Road.  The box came courtesy of the very generous donation from directors Tim and Tom O’Connor of O’Connor Utilities.  The surprises kept coming as he was then brought pitch-side by ex-Leeds player and Radio Leeds commentator, Noel Whelan to meet his idols Leeds legends Terry Yorath, Eddie Gray and Peter Lorimer and presented with a personalised Leeds shirt.  A day and night to remember for Ambassador O’Neill. 

Our Annual Fundraiser will now take place on the first Saturday in October at Leeds Irish Centre, with the next one being 5th October 2019.  Get this date in your diary as it promises to be a sell-out night!

Our heartfelt thanks go to Ambassador O’Neill, Tom McLoughlin,  Christy and all the Irish Centre Committee and Staff, Martin Logan from ‘Irish in the UK TV’ and everyone who made a generous donation or sponsored this event and everyone who bought a ticket.  We are truly grateful and humbled by your generosity.

To see all the photos of the event click here

All photography courtesy of Peter Rollings Photography