GLOBAL dance superstar Michael Flatley was one of four people to be honoured at this year’s Irish Post Business Gala Dinner & Awards.
The Chicago-born performer and entrepreneur received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at London’s Dorchester Hotel tonight.
The dancer and choreographer, whose international hit Riverdance first shot to fame when he led a troupe of dancers in the interval act at the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin, has created and produced scores of highly successful dance shows.
As well as Riverdance, they include Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames and Celtic Tiger.
This evening’s black tie event brother together key speakers and personalities from the world of business with some of the most famous faces of the Irish in Britain.
Broadcaster Eamonn Holmes was MC for the evening, which was attended award-winning fashion designer Paul Costelloe and author Jeffrey Archer.
Other high-profile guests included the Irish Government’s Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, Irish Ambassador to Britain Dan Mulhall and Ireland rugby legend Peter Stringer.
Mr Flatley was joined among the award-winners by Ray O’Rourke KBE, executive chairman of global construction firm Laing O’Rourke, who was given the gong for Outstanding Contribution to Business in Britain.
Meanwhile, founder and CEO of Alexander Mann Solutions Rosaleen Blair accepted the award for Company of the Year and Addison Lee chairman John Griffin became The Irish Post’s first Business Person of the Year.
Heralding the positive impact of Irish people on Britain’s economy, Irish Post editor Siobhán Breatnach said: “At a time when economic and trade relations between our two countries are being prioritised at the highest levels of Government, the Irish are playing their part.”
She added: “From traditional industries such as construction to technology and emerging companies, green shoots are springing up in towns and cities across England, Scotland and Wales.”
It also saw the release of The Irish Post’s In Business 2013 magazine, which profiles the most significant Irish business leaders in Britain, spanning industries from tourism to transport, retail to finance and hospitality to the arts.
The publication also incorporates The Irish Post’s Legal50, which acknowledges the contribution and excellence of leading legal minds.
City A.M. Editor Allister Heath and New York-based irishcentral.com founder Niall O’Dowd were the keynote speakers at the event, giving their thoughts on the Global Irish and the British-Irish economic relationship.
“Our Business Gala Dinner and Awards is the only event which brings together Irish business leaders and success stories from all sectors across Britain to celebrate that success, share knowledge and create further valuable business connections,” said Irish Post Regional Editor Fiona Audley
She added: “This unique occasion offers a rare chance to champion the best of Irish business minds from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and beyond; to reflect on what has been a bountiful year of business in Britain for many and to support the growth of our Irish network nationwide to secure continued success for our business community in 2014.”