During a weekend of events leading up to St Patrick's Day today, the Shamrock Ball offically launched Lionra which cements business links between the North East and Ireland.
The ball was held on Saturday at The Hilton, NewcastleGateshead and featured top Irish Dancers and musicians Celtic Sprit, flying in directly from Dublin, courtesy of Aer Lingus.
The Shamrock Ball supports two great charities; The Percy Hedley Foundation & PSPA, and Sheila Coltman from The Percy Hedley Foundation joined LIONRA. And this year the support partner is Lloyd BMW.
Lionra (which translates as ‘network’), was been founded by Maurice Duffy from County Mayo, who is CEO of Blackswan - a global business turnaround specialist based in Newcastle.
Lionra is a non-profit organisation that sets out to build on the well established trading relationship that exists between the North East and Ireland.
The chair of Lionra is celebrated Sunderland entrepreneur, Paul Callaghan, who has a strong Irish ancestry with Irish roots of both his maternal and paternal family trees.
Callaghan, former chair of regional development agency One North East and founder of Leighton, the Sunderland-based technology, software, media and communications group, said: “The links between the North East of England and Ireland are centuries old and there are fantastic examples of Irish companies that have done very well in the North East and those from this region that have grown as a result of trading in Ireland.
“We want to continue this great relationship and to stimulate further growth through Lionra, which is an informal network that looks to connect people together and also have a lot of fun.”