Bono honours John and Pat Hume with TK Whitaker Award at 47th annual Business & Finance Awards in association with KPMG

Business & Finance Awards, Latest News | Wed 13 Apr | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured: The Grandchildren of the late John Hume, Rachel and Ollie with Bono as they accept the TK Whitaker Award on behalf of their late grandparents. Photo Credit: Andres Poveda

Hosting over 1,000 business leaders, the event recognised the need for unity, peace and compassion globally, with Bono, Minister Paschal Donohoe, and US Ambassadors in attendance. 


John and Pat Hume, and former US Secretary of the Treasury Henry (Hank) Paulson, were among those celebrated at last night’s 47th annual Business & Finance Awards in association with KPMG, at the Convention Centre in Dublin. The awards gala was attended by more than 1,000 business, political and social leaders. 

Honouring John and Pat Hume

Surprise special guest Bono honoured the late John and Pat Hume with the TK Whitaker Award in recognition of their outstanding contribution to public life. The award was accepted by the Hume family.

Rachel Hume, granddaughter of John and Pat read a poem as part of the Hume family’s acceptance of the award. The poem was written by Rachel’s cousin and was originally read at her grandfather’s funeral:

“Dear Granda, The last time I saw you you weren’t feeling yourself. But we sat and we chatted, we got you something sweet to eat and you came round to chatting and charming like you always used to do. The next day you were right as rain, giving orders and singing songs. We used to say you’d be around with the cockroaches. Although I’m heartbroken that that’s not true, I’m grateful that in the end it was peaceful and kind. Just like you.”

The Grandchildren of the late John Hume, Rachel and Ollie with Bono as they accept the TK Whitaker Award on behalf of their late grandparents. Photo Credit: Andres Poveda

“In truth, you have been sick for most of my life. The stories of your brilliant mind and fearless endeavours have been filled in for me by those who remember them better. Despite all this, you were still the biggest presence in the room, the person we talked about most when we were together. In our conversations that went round and round in circles many times the dementia patient ended up seeming as though he made the most sense. You always had a talent for bringing people round to your way of thinking.”

Granda, because of you an entire nation gets to live in a happier and more hopeful reality. Because of you my generation enjoy a security and peace so ubiquitous we often take it for granted. Because of you, your grandchildren know compassion, patience, respect, and the immense value that every person, sick or well, brings to the world. Caring for you will be one of the great privileges of our lives.

“We will miss the singing, we’ll miss the gentle smile, the thousand questions, the Derry nursery rhymes. We’ll miss the gifts of toblerone and instructions to hide them under the bed before our Mammy sees them. Your grandchildren will remember your grumpiness as fondly as we remember your generosity. You dedicated your life to bringing us peace. I hope now you have found some for yourself.”

Last Night’s Winners

Former US Secretary of the Treasury Henry (Hank) Paulson received the Sutherland Leadership Award, named in honour of Peter Sutherland. The award was presented by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. 

Former US Secretary of the Treasury Henry (Hank) Paulson receives the Sutherland award. Photo Credit: Andres Poveda.

Among the awards presented last night were the Business Person of the Year, Company of the Year, Elevation — Fast Business Award. In addition, a special Outstanding Contribution to Irish Business award was presented to Enterprise Ireland and accepted by CEO Leo Clancy.

Mark Roden of Ding, winner of Business Person of the Year, pictured with family after receiving his award. Photo Credit: Andres Poveda.

Speaking at last night’s Business & Finance Awards, Seamus Hand, Managing Partner of KPMG Ireland (title sponsor) said: 

It has been really amazing to witness the resilience and determination, but also the innovation and ambition of so many Irish based companies that, notwithstanding a challenging environment, have enjoyed tremendous success over the course of the last 12 months. At KPMG we admire these companies, their teams and the leaders that drive them and are privileged to be associated with these awards that recognise their achievements. We are delighted to celebrate all of these stories of success and to congratulate each of the awards participants.

Ian Hyland, Publisher, Business & Finance, also congratulated the winners, saying: 

“This year’s Business & Finance Awards is one of the most important milestones in the context of recognising great business leaders and leadership teams along with truly inspirational political and social leaders in Hank Paulson and John & Pat Hume. This is a time that leadership in business can directly and positively impact society more than ever. While the past two years may have been most challenging for Irish business, this year’s business awards winners have proven that true innovators will not be suppressed regardless of the challenges thrown at them.”

Steve Cutler of Icon Plc, winner of Company of the Year, speaks after receiving the award. Photo Credit: Andres Poveda.

This year’s awards were judged by a panel of 25 leaders representing business, accademia, business bodies and business state agencies, all of whom acknowledged the challenges business and individuals have faced over the last two years.

The Business & Finance Awards programme was established in 1974 to celebrate the achievements of some of the most outstanding business leaders. Over the past 47 years, it has evolved to host and recognise some of the most outstanding leaders of a generation including President Clinton, Kofi Annan, President Mary Robinson, Mario Draghi, Jose Manuel Barroso, Senator George Mitchell, Sir John Major and Sir Bob Geldof, along with business leaders including Tony Ryan, Tony O’Reilly, Denis O’Brien, Anne Heraty, Tony Smurfit, Anne O’Leary, Domnhal Slattery among others. 

Business & Finance owner Ian Hyland on stage with surprise guest Bono. Photo Credit: Andres Poveda.

The award winners were as follows:

  • Outstanding Contribution to Business – Enterprise Ireland
  • Business Person of the Year – Mark Roden of Ding 
  • Company of the Year – ICON plc 
  • FDI of the Year Award – Pfizer
  • Elevation Award – APC Ltd 
  • Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Award – Northern Trust 
  • Environmental, Social & Governance Award – AIB