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Ex-ambassador to speak at St Patrick’s Day celebration

  • Kevin O’Malley

The former US Ambassador to Ireland is lined up to be the guest speaker at this year’s annual island celebration of St Patrick’s Day.

Kevin O’Malley, a lawyer who served in the US Embassy for three years until he retired at the start of this year, will speak on Irish-American relations, as well as the close relationship Bermuda has with the US at the gala dinner, to be held at the Hamilton Princess on Saturday night.

Mary Ellen Koenig, the US Consul General in Bermuda and husband Rob, will join Governor John Rankin and Deputy Governor Ginny Ferson at the event.

Brian Quinn, of the Bermuda Irish Association, said: “It should be a great night — and, of course, you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy it.”

He added that individual tickets, priced at $165 each, as well as a limited number of corporate tables were still available.

Mr Quinn, managing director of Granite Management, said: “We are very appreciative that Mr O’Malley has been good enough to take time out of a busy calendar to join us and speak at what is going to be a great night of Irish culture and entertainment.

“We would like to thank Ms Koenig for her efforts in helping us to secure such a notable speaker for our event we look forward to welcoming her and her husband as guests of honour.”

He added: “Mr Rankin and the Ms Ferson will also be guests of honour, following on from the tradition set by the previous Governor George Fergusson last year. The new Governor was very interested in attending.”

The gala dinner will also feature Irish dancers who have performed in the world-famous Lord of the Dance group, led by Michael Flatley, who created Riverdance, as well as Irish band Spraoi. Mr O’Malley is a second-generation American held dual US and Irish citizenship until he gave up his Irish passport to become the top American diplomat in Ireland.

The dinner starts at 7pm on Saturday with a cocktail reception, with dinner at 8pm.

Anyone interested in attending should contact Mr Quinn at bquinn@granite.bm, Michael Veale at veale.michael@gmail.com or aine_11218@yahoo.com to confirm the number of tickets. Money should be transferred to Bank of Butterfield A/C 0601602480012.