On Thursday, the 16th of March 2023, the INBA had the pleasure of welcoming all our members and friends to our annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner at the Sofitel the Grand Hotel in Amsterdam.
St. Patrick’s Day is a chance for communities to have fun and celebrate, and the INBA was actively involved in just this. The evening kicked off with a drinks reception where members and guests had an opportunity to network and meet friends old and new. Siard de Jong and his musicians provided lively music, while a lovely atmosphere was present throughout the evening. Chatting, making connections, and embracing Irish culture remained the centre focus of the St. Patrick’s Day Dinner.
Inspired by the delicious food produced in Ireland, the ingredients for the dinner on the night were sourced from Irish producers, through connections of Bord Bia. The dinner showcased the incredible food industry that is so central to the Irish economy, but also to its export markets, including the Netherlands.
The Irish dancers who weaved in and out through the tables of our guests’ reminded of us the arts and culture that is loved both at home and abroad, while Ierlande Torisme showcased the very best of the Irish landscape through their photo collage that was displayed during the course of the night.
Senator Barry Ward, alongside Ambassador Rogers and Dr. Gordon Campbell, spoke on the night. Senator Ward’s speech touched on current issues that we are facing on both a national, but also a global scale, including the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis. Reminding us of the importance of working together, the Irish seanfhocal really sprang to mind;
Ní neart go cur le chéile!
Senator Ward then further discussed the current and deepening relations between Ireland and several member states, paying particular attention to the Netherlands. Noting the change in dynamics due to Brexit, the Irish-Dutch link is growing in importance, while fostering and nurturing these relationships remains paramount in light of various other political changes, including Brexit.
Ambassador Rogers also discussed the connections between Ireland and the Netherlands, alongside the several St. Patrick’s Day events that were happening over the last two weeks. The Irish diaspora and community present in the Netherlands is alive and growing, and reminds us all that we are never too far from home.
Among our many guests, we were particularly pleased to welcome Lieutenant Commander Diarmuid O’Donovan and his fellow officers from the LE W B Yeats who had taken time off from their official duties to join us for the evening. The Irish naval vessel, LE W B Yeats was visiting Scheveningen Port for the weekend.
For all those who provided gifts for our raffle, including Bord Bia, Aer Lingus, The Celtic Shop, Tourism Ireland, GrowEurBusiness, Ms Kevin Doris Ejon, and the Embassy, we thank you for your generosity. We are very grateful to have such wonderful businesses and organisations sponsoring and donating to INBA events such as these.
As ever, we value and appreciate your support as members and friends of the INBA and look forward to many more events. Please feel free to browse the images that were taken on the night, under our ‘photos’ section.