Dear Members,

Too much news, too little space to write it!

First, let me say happy holidays and a blessed Christmas to all our members!

November was a busy month in the Irish community and at the Center. Your Board met An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, at City Hall for a special reception during his short West Coast visit to influential tech companies who maintain operations and/or European headquarters in Ireland.

At the Center, we had a phenomenal wine tasting event organized by Executive Director, Robert Sparks and our Staff. Wonderful food, including Pasta stations, hors d’oeuvres, desserts, by Chef Paul, and amazing organization and service by Teresa, Eileen and team. Many new and young faces participated in this outstanding event. We enjoyed wines from 12 participating Vineyards, and our members and guests ordered 37 cases of wine for their holiday celebrations. The event ended with rave reviews, and requests for more similar events.

The 4th Annual Irish Thanksgiving event co-organized with the Irish Network Bay Area also took place, which honored contributions to the Irish Community by Martin Falvey and Brian Sheehy. Vice Consul, John Callaghan, accompanied by his parents Charlie and Mary, visiting from Ireland were also guests at this special event, and he extended a warm welcome to the participants.

Robert Sparks and I met with our Bankers to answer remaining questions about support for our renovation plans, and meetings with architectural and design firms continued under Robert’s direction.

We were also encouraged by a visit from our local Supervisor Katy Tang with Robert Sparks, Jo Coffey and with me. Katy requested this visit to see how her office and the Mayor could be helpful to the Irish Center from City Hall. She was amazed by our library and the extent of our collection, not to mention, our future vision for the Irish Center. She also pledged assistance on a few items we asked of her, and I am pleased to report that she is truly an ally for us with the city government. I’m glad I had the chance to become better acquainted with Katy during the Mayoral Mission to Cork last month.

Happy Holidays to all our members from your Board and Staff, and watch out for our Membership Renewal Notice in the mail and on-line, and our request for contributions to our Generations Fund.

All the best,

Michael Barnacle, For the Board