Invited by University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy to deliver the 2014 King Abdullah II Annual Leadership Lecture on May 12, President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins laid out a holistic approach to addressing complex global challenges, emphasizing specifically the interconnectivity of economics, ethics, immigration and the environment.


“Ireland Network Chicago was proud to participate as a Sponsor Partner for this highlight event of the President’s visit to the Midwest” said Seamus Byrne, past President of Ireland Network Chicago and a board member of Irish Network USA. The lecture was hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs at The Drake, an historic hotel in downtown Chicago. At a later reception hosted by Consul General Aidan Cronin and attended by over 800 guests from the Chicago Irish community, the President spoke optimistically on the future of Ireland, the momentum of the economic recovery underway, and the critical role played by the Diaspora in that future.


Also attending the reception hosted by the Consulate was Mary McFarland Brooks, IN Minnesota representative to the INUSA Board.  “Becoming part of the INUSA Network has offered our members the opportunity to more fully exercise their support for business, cultural and sport initiatives that tie us back to Ireland in a tangible way,” said Brooks. “I was honored to represent IN Minnesota at this special event and look forward to continuing to build valuable relationships with INUSA chapters and members across the country.”

“Irish Network USA is honored to be able to be a part of these events that do so much to keep the Diaspora engaged with Ireland in a meaningful way,” state Steve Lenox, Co-President of Irish Network USA. “President Higgins offered inspiring words during his time in Chicago and is certainly always welcome to come back and visit with members of any one of our 19 chapters!”