During a ceremony at the Residence of our Patron, Ambassador Dr. Thomas Nader and his Wife Ingrid, and in the presence our President and the Committee, Friends and Family, our Vice President Ulrike Schoeller received her Decoration of Merit in Gold from the Republic of Austria (Goldenes Verdienstzeichen der Republik Österreich). Ulli received this great honour and recognition for her services as Vice President of the Irish Austrian Society over many years.
For more pictures from the award ceremony, please click on the picture above.
Dr. Otto Glaser, died suddenly, peacefully on Friday 27th January 2017 at home. He was just shy of his 91st birthday.
At the young age of 12 he arrived in Ireland before the outbreak of the Second World War and was taken under the caring wings of The Holy Ghost Fathers in Blackrock College. He went on to study Science in UCD attaining a BSc and MSc and earned his doctorate in Vienna. He soon made his mark in Telecommunications where he prospered as a captain of Irish Industry. He served on the board of Coras Trachtala, he was a member of The Institute for Advanced Studies, a board member of the School of Cosmic Science, a member of the Governing Board of Dublin City University and an early and active member of Brendan Halligan’s European Institute.
For those of us in the Irish Austrian Society we’ll forever be grateful for two decades he devoted to the society as its President. He brought an energy and style that was First Division for every event. Austrian culture, history and links with Ireland were thoroughly researched. Enlightening conferences and superb musical occasions often combining the very best of artists from Austria and Ireland. Otto had a great sense of humour, uniquely Irish-Austrian. We shared a passion for Austrian wine and I enjoyed his company immensely.
He was farsighted, energetic and successful in so many fields. In the Irish Austrian Society one of his loved initiatives was to establish a German language essay competition for secondary schools. One of the three perpetual trophies is named after him and I expect this will help future generations remember him. The Austrian Government awarded him the Honour in Gold for services to the Republic of Austria. Without doubt, Otto will be remembered by all of us who knew him as a truly great Irish-Austrian. To his widow Pat we send our sympathy and fondest regards.
Paul Dubsky 29th January 2017
competition page for full details.
The 2016 Christmas Gala Dinner took place at the usual - excellent - venue, the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. The event was a sell out this year and it was a wonderful opportunity to see so many members, friends and guests on the evening.
We also wish to thank our sponsors, which this year included
The National Concert Hall, Mitchell & Son, Riedel Glassware, Matt The Tresher, St. Kilians' Deutsche Schule Dublin and Duncan Grehan & Partners.
Click on picture for more ...
Saint Nikolaus has once again, in what is now becoming a nice tradition, visited the families and children in the Irish Austrian Society. Before Nikolaus arrived, Julian entertained the children with the great story of The Wild Christmas Reindeer. Saint Nikolaus then spoke with every child and gift for them all. Children and parents were delighted and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon. Thank you Saint Nikolaus and hope to see you again next year.
On September 22nd 2016, His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Nader in the company of his wife as well as members of the Irish Austrian Society travelled to Skerries to attend "Classical Summer Breeze", an evening of light classical music with Karen Leitner (flute) and Teresa O'Donnell (harp), who set out to inspire and uplift their audience. All present had a most enjoyable time, as attested to by the attached images.
The event took place in beautiful Holmpatrick Church in Skerries and was part of the Skerries Soundwaves Festival. The Festival organisers expressed their gratitude for the generous support of Karin Leitner through the Austrian Embassy. The Irish Austrian Society provided much appreciated fine Austrian wines for the interval.
On 24 June we met for the traditional BBQ in Peta's home in Balbriggan. Weather was mixed but warm and sunny for the most part, so we were able to enjoy the afternoon outside in the court yard and the impressive garden, where Peta gave us a tour explaining all the various flowers, plants and vegtables. A big thank you to Peta for opening her home once again to entertain members to this great event.
On June 15th the Austrian Ambassador and Patron of the Society, Dr. Thomas Nader, seen on the picture together with the IAS-president Guy Johnston, and his wife welcomed the members of the Irish Austrian Society to the Society's annual Garden Party. All the guests enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with great weather in the Garden of the Austrian Residence
Nine members of the Irish-Austrian Society went on a culture and wine tour to Burgenland and South Styria from the 17th - 22nd April. The tour was organised by Ulrike Schoeller and we all met up at Dublin Airport for our Aer Lingus flight to Vienna on Sunday morning 17th April. From Vienna we travelled by coach to the village of Podersdorf in Burgenland - a journey of about an hour. Our Hotel Seewirt had lovely views over the lake (Neusiedlersee) - and we had an excellent dinner in a dining room of our own during which we sampled some local wines.
Next morning was overcast and dull and we had rain on our journey by coach to the town of Eisenstadt where we were met by our excellent guide, Waltraud Kumer. She was steeped in the history of the town, where the composer Haydn was in residence for so long, and gave us a very interesting tour including the wonderful Castle Esterhazy. The rain soon cleared and after lunch we headed for Frauenkirchen and the Umathum vineyard. The owner gave us a very interesting talk on the soil of the region and took us out to his vineyard. On our return to Podersdorf we stopped to see the basilica in Frauenkirchen.
On Tuesday we travelled to Riegersburg and visited the huge Goelles distillery - famous for its vinegars and Schnapps. I brought home a delicious rose wine vinegar. Not far away we stopped at a chocolate shop - selling beautifully wrapped homemade chocolates. Ideal presents!
After lunch we travelled through South Styria in lovely warm spring weather: acres of vineyards and peach, pear, apple and cherry orchards covered in blossom. We were really seeing the countryside at its best. We arrived at the village of Leutschach where we were to stay at the excellent Hotel Langgasthof Tscheppe for the next three days and enjoy its excellent cuisine and wine.
On Wednesday we set off for Graz on a glorious sunny morning. We were met by our guide Martin Haller who told us he had lived for a number of years in Kilfenora, County Clare breeding Connemara ponies ! He also spoke English with a Clare accent! Graz is a 900 year old imperial city dominated by the Schlossberg on the hill with its famous clock tower and wonderful views over the city. To get there our guide took us through the tunnel built during World War 2 to serve as an air raid shelter - and then to the glass lift which brought us to the top. We were glad to sit up there and have cool drinks in the sunshine. Afterwards Martin took us to the beautiful baroque basilica in Stainz and told us of the influence and patronage of Archduke Johann - the "Styrian Prince" whose statue stands in the main square in Graz. He also mentioned that the great Austrian conductor, Nikolaus Harnoncourt (recently deceased) was a direct descendent of Archduke Johann and had given a special concert in the basilica. And we saw a small exhibition of photographs of Harnoncourt and his family at the back of the church. Then we returned to our hotel in Leutschach after a very fulfilled day.
On Thursday morning we were taken on a walking tour of Leutschach by the town mayor and former school teacher, Karl Neubauer. Karl knew everyone in the village and we were constantly greeted by locals as we walked along ! He took us to sample some beer at a local small brewery and also pointed out a large house opposite our hotel which once belonged to a branch of the Trapp family. Karl came with us when we later visited the winemaker Skoff and all had lunch at his restaurant near the Slovenian border.
Friday was our last day and on our way to Vienna airport in the morning we visited a small family-owned pumpkin oil factory near Leutschach, Styria is famous for its delicious pumpkin oil which I find makes great salad dressings.
Thank you, Ulli for a truly Austrian experience. I know I speak for everyone on the trip when I say we appreciate all your dedication and hard work.
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