A Gala Evening at NYU Celebrates Jewish and Irish Ties

Author Colm Tóibín and former taoiseach Enda Kenny flanked by guests.

By Irish America Staff
March / April 2020

NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House, at their eighth annual gala, recently honored Irish business leader Dómhnal Slattery and award-winning writer Colm Tóibín at an event at NYU’s Kimmel Center for University Life. Loretta Brennan Glucksman presented Mr. Slattery with the Lewis L. Glucksman Award for Leadership in recognition of his immense achievements over three decades, most especially by establishing Avolon as a global leader in aircraft leasing. The Lewis L. Glucksman Award for Leadership is awarded in memory of the co-founder of Glucksman Ireland House, whose career in finance and philanthropy is relived constantly through the teaching, learning, and research fostered in the House.

The Seamus Heaney Award for Arts and Letters was presented by award-
winning writer Alice McDermott to Mr. Tóibín in recognition of his outstanding literary accomplishments on the international stage. The Seamus Heaney Award for Arts and Letters is given in memory of the late Nobel laureate, who was a great champion of Glucksman Ireland House and an honored guest at the 2013 Glucksman Ireland House Gala.

Always a memorable event, this year’s festivities raised $500,000 and gathered together luminaries including Ireland’s ambassador to the U.N. Geraldine Byrne Nason, former taoiseach Enda Kenny, former Irish ambassador to the U.S. Anne Anderson, and Consul General for New York Ciarán Madden, as well as writer Zadie Smith, poet Nick Laird, musician Iarla Ó Lionáird, and dancer Jean Butler. The evening was ably compered by Dan Barry of the New York Times.

An outstanding musical performance was provided by Maura
O’Connell, who flew in from Nashville especially for the occasion of honoring her fellow Ennis native Slattery. 

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