Orla Kiely and Tim O’Connor
Drinks Reception and Meal
Venue : Dromoland Castle
Date : Fri 13 Oct
Tickets : €175
The I.NY Gathering invites and welcomes 250 Irish and Irish American guests to Dromoland Castle for an evening of story, music and exchange. During the evening, guests speakers Orla Kiely and Tim O’Connor will tell the story of their history and relationship with New York, and the personal and professional impact the city has had on them. The I.NY Gathering prompts this conversation across the room – with guests sharing their individual experience of the Ireland New York story and hearing the experiences of others.
The I.NY Gathering is the first of what is intended as an annual event, where the Irish diaspora can gather at the end of their visit, eat and drink with friends and relatives from home, and celebrate the relationships revived or made new.
Orla Kiely began her career studying at the Dublin’s National College of Art, before travelling to New York to a design company where she claims she ‘gained the best colour training anyone could possibly have’. She subsequently obtained her master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in London, and in 1997 The Orla Kiely Partnership was formed with her husband Dermott Rowan, anchored in the unique and immediately recognisable signature ‘Stem print’.
In 2004, Orla was awarded the Irish Tatler Irish Woman of the year. She was named one of HBOS 100 most entrepreneurial women in 2008, and in 2009 was a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. In 2011 Orla was awarded an Honorary OBE by the Queen of England for her services to Business and Fashion.
Orla’s industry consultancies include designing ceramics/wallpaper for Habitat and sitting on the Dulux Design Council. She has designed three capsule collections for the Tate in conjunction with summer exhibitions such as Bauhaus, sixties era and a new collection is currently available in the Tate gallery, and has won four UK Fashion Export Awards including the Gold award.
Orla’s London flagship store and showroom opened in September 2005 in Covent Garden followed by a second store on the Kings Road in 2010. Her first New York store opened in Soho’s Mercer Street in 2011, with a second opening on Bleecker Street in the West Village in 2016.
A native of Killeedy in West Limerick, Tim O’Connor is a distinguished former public servant and diplomat who played a pivotal behind the scenes role in the Northern Peace talks. Tim served as the Consul General of Ireland in New York from 2005-2007, was to the forefront of bringing arts and culture to the centre of the relationship between Ireland and the diaspora in New York at that time, and was a key initiator and driver in the development of the new Irish Arts Centre in Manhattan.
He served as Secretary General to President Mary McAleese from 2007 to 2010, be retiring from the civil service and dividing his time between his own advisory business and voluntary work, both in the public sector and with NGOs Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Government’s Gathering Ireland initiative in 2013, Tim was also Chairman of the Clinton Institute for American Studies at UCD from 2010-2015. He has also served in many leadership roles for his native Limerick, including as Vice-Chairman of Limerick National City of Culture 2014, and Vice-Chairman of Global Limerick, an innovative initiative of Limerick Local Authority, through which Limerick is reaching out to its 3 million diaspora around the world.