Irish Austrian Society Dinner

At long last, President Dr. Declan Downey welcomed Members of the Society to a celebratory dinner at the Kildare Street and University Club in Dublin last Thursday. The honoured guests included His Excellency Dr Thomas Nader and his wife, Frau Dr Ingrid Thorbjørnsrud, and also Mrs Martina O’Reilly and her husband, Mr Michael O’Reilly. Martina has the distinction of being the first teacher to encourage her pupils to participate in our Society’s German Language Essay Competition and has continued to do so every year.

The occasion was to celebrate three anniversaries:

  • 65th anniversary of the Austrian State Treaty which returned sovereign independence to Austria (1955-2020)
  • 60th Anniversary of the Irish-Austrian Society (1960-2020) 
  • 25th anniversary of our Society’s German Language Essay Competition (began in 1997)

Former President Paul Dubsky spoke about the foundation of our Society in 1960 and the Austrian flag that flew on top of the building that is now the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, overlooking St. Stephen's Green. To bring history to life, Paul had brought the historic flag with him and presented it in all it still existing glory.

To commemorate both the 65th anniversary of the restoration of Austrian Independence in 1955 as well as the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Irish Austrian Society, former President Guy Johnston had commissioned a bronze sculpture from Irish Artist Jarlath Daly. During the evenings celebrations, this sculpture was presented by Declan Downey and Ms Peta Taaffe to our Patron, Ambassador Thomas Nader. The Ambassador expressed this thanks to the Society for the sculpture and what it represents. The inscription on the sculpture is in German, Irish and English and reads:

The Irish Harp and the Austrian Eagle
Presented to the Embassy of Austria to Ireland
on the
65th Anniversary of the Restoration of Austrian Independence in 1955
by the
Irish-Austrian Society on the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of its Foundation in 1960

In concluding the celebrations, President Downey expressed his deep appreciation on  behalf of the Society to the Ambassador Thomas Nader for his ever supportive patronage of the Society.