Saturday, 18th April saw 300 people arrive in the Maryborough House Hotel, Cork for the Friends of Londiani annual Kenya Ball. The night began with a VIP reception for our special Guests – Mrs Caroline Otengo, Embassy of Kenya, Ireland, Patricia Gosch, Deputy Lord Mayor, Cork, Mr Michael Martin, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Donal Horgan, Managing Director, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, Mr Shay Fahy, HR Director, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland, Mr Conor Healy, CEO, Cork Chamber of Commerce and Mr Eamonn Lenihan, Director for the Centre for Sustainable Livelihoods, UCC.
The Deputy Lord Mayor opened the ball and spoke of the work been done by FOL in Kenya. She has worked in the Kenyan embassy in Bonn, and spoke about the warmth and generosity of the Kenyn people. Minister for Foreign Affairs, Michael Martin spoke of the work of the Irish government through Irish Aid in Africa. Mrs Caroline Otengo thanked Friends of Londiani for the support that they are giving to the people of Kenya. Maria Kidney, Chairperson of Friends of Londiani, spoke about hope, the past year in Friends of Londiani and the future. Maria asked the people present to look beyond the borders of our state in these difficult times and support those in need in Kenya. She concluded with a presentation of the highlights of the past year for FOL played to the sound of the voices of the St Kizito’s Choir in Londiani. The ball guests were welcomed to the sound of the “Trinity Gospel Choir” lead by Mr Ger Gunn who sang amazingly during the drinks reception. Music after dinner was provided by the “Eighty Something”, and the dancing continued into the small hours of Sunday morning. The atmosphere was electric, and as usual the Kenya Ball remains on the top of the social calendar in Cork. The date has already been set for next year’s Kenya Ball – it will take place on Saturday, 17th April 2010 at the Maryborough House Hotel, Cork. More details will be posted on the website soon.