Business Lunch 2020
On Friday 21st February, Union President Johnny Lynch hosted the Annual Business Lunch at the InterContinental Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Over 450 pastmen and their guests attended what was a marvelous occasion. Mr Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for Finance, delivered an excellent speech as he outlined important aspects of Castleknock’s contribution to Irish society, the value the College has going forward and, of course, where our country stands after a mixed sets of results in the general election. That wasn’t the only speech on the day however as we somehow got the Taoiseach’s perspective in at the end also, or at least a solid impression of him in the form of well-known comedian and of Après Match fame Mr Risteárd Cooper. Through the medium of Risteárd, we were treated to a hilarious set of contributions from numerous famous Irish personalities.
As ever, a group of students from the College were present and we were delighted to welcome them. Mr Chris Kinder gave a brief update on matters at the College and highlighted the recent changes in the law concerning admissions which may be of relevance to our pastmen looking to send their boys to the College in the coming years. There was plenty of excitement in the room on the day also as the senior and junior rugby squads looked ahead to two semi-finals in their respective cup campaigns.
While this event is always a jovial occasion and a time to share stories and jokes with one another, sometimes there is unfortunate news that we must grapple with. Mr Declan MacQuillan (Class of 1980) spoke at the start of the lunch briefly about his fellow classmate Mr Frank Quirke who has suffered very serious and life-changing injuries following an accident. Declan was sad to inform the assembled crowd that instead of sitting down to have a laugh with his fellow pastmen on the day, he would be receiving care for his injuries sustained. Any who would like to offer their assistance to Frank can contact the Union.
It was a busy event with a variety of speeches but one which ran smoothly overall. Fr Paschal Scallon indicated that we may have found a new home for this event. While official proceedings closed at 4pm, a mass gathering of pastmen shifted to the bar afterward in typically unsurprising fashion. More noticeable than ever compared to previous years, it was still packed late into the night. Whether or not the bar staff saying the Guinness had run out was factual or a ploy to shift people on remains unclear but it was certainly true that a good time was had by all.
Finally, it is always important to thank our generous sponsors who help us greatly in making these events a reality. Our thanks also to the excellent staff at the InterContinental who provide a seamless service. The raffle on the day was held to support the Union Benevolent Fund, the College Scholarship and the development of a boarding school for the deaf in Ambo, Ethiopia. Total proceeds were €5,600.