Aine Brady was inaugurated as National President, Soroptimist International in Oct. 2002 at Federation Congress, Glasgow. Also inaugurated at that Congress was Joan Smith, S.I. Bangor, as Federation President and Marie Hoey, S.I. Lurgan as Regional President, Northern Ireland. Aine is a past president of S.I. North Kildare and was well supported throughout her year in office by her club, who held a welcome home party for her in the Kildare Hotel and Country Club to mark her elevation to National President.

To coinside with Aine’s year as National President, the North Kildare club sponsored the National Project which was ‘Fundraising for the Special Olympics 2003’ which was launched in April, 2002 at a lunch in Manzor’s of Clane, by the Minister for Finance, Charlie McCreevy, T.D. and Denis O’Brien, Chairperson of the Special Olympics. Aine was also present at Donadea Forest, Sept. Co. Kildare, Sept. 2002, for the launch of the ‘National Walk’ for the ‘Special Olympics, 2003’ by the Mayor of Clane, Dessie Marron. This was followed by ‘walks’ and other fundraising events organised by soroptimists clubs throughout the country. Aine endevoured to attend as many club functions as possible.

In Oct. 2002 she attended a reception held by S.I. Naas Newbridge to raise funds for the ‘Special Olympics’. In Feb, 2003 she attended a club meeting in Mullingar and the National Association ‘out of town’ meeting hosted by the Athlone club , also the opening of the Carers Respite Break in Cork by the Minister for Health Michael Martin, T.D. She attended the Regional Finals of the Public Speaking competition in Maynooth Post Primary School, Co. Kildare.

In March, Aine attended a lunch in Hillsborough as a guest of the Northern Ireland, Regional President, Marie Hoey, and she also attended the joint lunch in Limerick by the Limerick and Ennis clubs. In March, she hosted the National Final of the Public Speaking Competition in Cork and in April waved goodbye at Shannon Airport to the 16 finalists accompanied by four soroptimists who were attending the European Parliament in Strasburg as part of their prize. She also attended in April, the 40th. anniversary lunch of the Enniskillen club and also a club lunch in Ballina. A very pleasant task in April at the Berkley Court Hotel, Dublin , in the presence of Minister for State for Overseas Developement, Tom Kitt, T.D. was the presentation of a cheque by National President, Aine, for 115,000 euro to John Gallagher, Chairperson, Fundraising Committee, Special Olympics, 2003, the result of the National Project.

The joint North South Conference hosted by Marie Hoey, Regional President, Northern Ireland was held in May, 2003 in Newcastle, Co. Down and was attended by Aine who was given a very special welcome by Marie Hoey as were all the North Kildare members who travelled with her. In May, Aine also attended a lunch held by the Letterkenny Club. Unfortunately, due to family commitments, Aine was unable to attend the Soroptimists International Congress in Sydney, Australia, in July, but she was ably represented there by the National President Elect.

Aine’s Friendship Weekend is in Sept, 2003 at the Johnstown House, Enfield, Co. Kildare to which all clubs are invited and in October she attends the Federation Congress in Belfast where with the change of Insignia she hands over to her successor.

Aine has received great support from her National Secretary, Kitty Manzor and all of the North Kildare Club members. She has put a lot of work into her year as National President. Her mission statement has been ‘making a difference’ and she certainly has made a difference to her Club, her Community and to the Nation by her whole hearted support of the National Project, ‘Fundraising for the Special Olympics, 2003’.

K. Brophy, B.A.
National Press Officer.