Shaun Murphy, Managing Partner, KPMG, former President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, former President of Ireland Mary McAleese, Irish Rugby Head Coach Joe Schmidt and Ian Hyland, Business & Finance. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
The 44th annual Business & Finance Awards, in association with KPMG, honoured Mary McAleese, José Manuel Barroso and Joe Schmidt.
Welcoming all the attendees to the event, Business & Finance CEO and Publisher, Ian Hyland, spoke about the importance of the Irish business both at home and abroad, and how much influence and importance the Irish business community have on the world stage.
This evening is a unique celebration of leaders across business, political and community spheres in both a domestic and global context.
TK Whitaker Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Life
Former President Mary McAleese received the TK Whitaker Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Life, which was presented to her by Tánaiste Simon Coveney. In her speech, Mrs McAleese focused on Brexit, and its implications on the Good Friday agreement and said,
The continuing uncertainty generated by the Brexit process makes it essential that business leaders on this island actively support the efforts of those like Ibec who are working to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement and the all-island economy which have so radically transformed all our lives for the better.
Joe Schmidt receives Outstanding Contribution to Brand Ireland Award
Irish Rugby Head Coach, Joe Schmidt, received the Outstanding Contribution to Brand Ireland Award for the successes of the Irish Rugby team under his tenure. He has led the team to two Six Nations championships, been named the Best Coach in the World and seen the team ranked number one in the world following a nail-biting win against the All Blacks in November.
Inaugural Peter Sutherland Award
As a mark of respect and tribute to a great Irish business leader we lost this year, Peter Sutherland, Business & Finance, with the support of the Sutherland family, have created the inaugural Sutherland Leadership Award. The first honouree to receive the award is former President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Portugal, who spoke eloquently on themes that were close to Peter Sutherland’s heart – being a global citizen.
Peter Sutherland’s friend, Niall FitzGerald, KBE presented the award to José Manuel Barroso, speaking about how the qualities of leadership and the belief in globalisation that Peter valued were also strongly present in the first recipient of the Sutherland Leadership Award.
Receiving the Award, Mr Barroso said,
I’m very proud to receive this Award both for Peter’s memory and for Ireland.