A NEW chairperson has been appointed to head up the board of directors at The Ireland Funds of Great Britain (IFGB).
Described by outgoing chair, Rory Godson as “outstanding”, Bridget Walsh takes up the position in the charity’s 35th year.
Ms Walsh, who has been a member of the IFGB board since 2021, is the global head of private equity at Ernst & Young (EY).
She continues in that role at the leading global accountancy firm, which she took on in July 2022, replacing Bill Stoffel, who passed away the previous December.
Prior to that Ms Walsh was EY’s managing partner for tax for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa.
Regarding her IFGB appointment, Ms Walsh said: “The Ireland Funds has a prestigious reputation and a rich history.
“Rory has created a strong legacy through his enormous efforts in building an accomplished, committed, and diverse board alongside his huge contribution to the ongoing success of The Ireland Funds.
“I am honoured to be taking on the mantle and be appointed as Chair of the Great Britain chapter in its 35th year,” she added.
Founded in 1988 by Sir Anthony O’Reilly and Dan Rooney, the IFGB raises funds through events and donations from the Irish diaspora in Britain and makes grants to charities across Great Britain and Ireland under four key pillars - community development, education, peace and arts and culture.
“An anniversary such as this gives us an opportunity to reflect on the great achievements during our history but also to put in place exciting plans for the charity as we work towards growing the impact of our investment in charitable causes in Great Britain and Ireland,” Ms Walsh said.
“I am delighted to be supported by a Board that is both passionate and ambitious about our future.”
Welcoming the news, IFGB Executive Director, Katie Jemmett said: “It is fantastic to have the opportunity to work closely with Bridget, who brings a wealth of experience to the charity.
“I would like to acknowledge the enormous contribution that our outgoing chairman, Rory Godson, made to The Ireland Funds Great Britain during his tenure and I am delighted that he will remain on the Board”.
Mr Godson, who is the CEO of Powerscourt Group, first took on the role of IFGB chair in 2018 and will remain on the board of directors, the organisation has confirmed.
"I am pleased we have such an outstanding new chair," he said this week.
“Bridget is a huge figure in her firm and in the wider commercial life of the UK and beyond,” Mr Godson explained.
Regarding his retirement from the role, he added: “I am very proud of what has been achieved over the past five years; including a significantly larger Board to enhance our fundraising and convening power; gender equality: we are the 50 per cent club, not just 30 per cent.
“And, with our ever-increased convening power, great events, selling out and raising money for good causes.
“I always think you should leave the party when you are having lots of fun, and I am delighted to hand over to Bridget and I look forward to supporting her.”
IFGB is part of the wider global network The Ireland Funds, which was established in 1976.
The charity’s mission is to “harness the power of a global philanthropic network of friends of Ireland to promote and support peace, culture, education and community development across the island of Ireland and among Irish communities around the world”.