Announcement! Our new patrons

Portrait photos of Irish chef, Richard Corrigan, on the left and Irish comedian, Dara Ó Briain on the right

The Irish Youth Foundation (UK) is delighted to announce that Richard Corrigan and Dara Ó Briain have been appointed Patrons of the charity – an exciting milestone to mark the Irish Youth Foundation (UK)’s 30th Anniversary year.

IYF (UK) Chairman, John Dwyer, commented: “Richard has been a wonderful supporter for many years, and we could not be more thrilled to welcome Dara Ó Briain to the IYF family. We are thrilled to have two such powerful characters, both of whom are embedded in the Irish community, become our Patrons in our 30th Anniversary year. They will be tremendous assets to the charity and their support for this great cause will enrich our efforts on behalf of young Irish people in need as we look forward to the next 30 years.”

Richard Corrigan has played a central role in the development of the IYF, joining the Board of Trustees in 2012. During this time Richard has raised over £500,000 for the IYF and the organisations it supports.

Richard Corrigan said: “John Dwyer and I were introduced to the IYF by one of the founders, Nessa O’Neill, and I’ve been supporting ever since. It’s an honour to be made Patron alongside Dara and hope together we can achieve great things for the charity.”

Richard Corrigan is the most celebrated Irish chef in Britain. He has opened numerous restaurants, gained Michelin stars, published two books, cooked for the Queen and Barack Obama, and regularly makes appearances on radio and television. He has won BBC2’s Great British Menu three times and is a regular judge on the popular BBC series.  Richard runs Bentley’s Oyster Bar & Grill off Piccadilly, Corrigan’s Mayfair, Dickies Bar, as well as Virginia Park Lodge in Co Cavan, Ireland. He recently opened his third London restaurant, Daffodil Mulligan, in Shoreditch.

A farmer’s son, Richard has cooked all his life and is a supporter of British and Irish produce and small independent suppliers. Richard is well known for his generous hospitality and celebrating seasonal events such as St Patrick’s Day, Game Season and The Return of the Native Oysters in September. Since Virginia Park Lodge’s acquisition in 2014, Richard has devoted much of his time to restoring the estate to its former glory, growing seasonal produce for his restaurants and making the 100-acre property as self-sufficient as possible.

Dara Ó Briain is one of the UK and Ireland’s favourite stand-up comedians and television presenters. He is best known for hosting Mock the Week, Robot Wars, Three Men in A Boat, Dara And Ed’s Big Adventure, Stargazing Live with Professor Brian Cox, Dara Ó Briain’s Science Club, and the documentary Dara Ó Briain Meets Sir Stephen Hawking, all on BBC. He also hosted Dara Ó Briain’s Go 8 Bit and School of Hard Sums on UKTV.

He started his career in television as a children’s presenter on RTÉ whilst performing his first stand-up gigs on the Irish comedy circuit. He is a graduate of University College Dublin, where he studied Mathematical Physics. Dara released the bestselling book, Tickling the English in 2009 and, more recently, his two children’s books about space: Secret Science: The Amazing World Beyond Your Eyes and Beyond the Sky: You and the Universe. Dara’s Irish heritage and interest in the enrichment of education and the imaginations of children make a perfect match with the aims of the Irish Youth Foundation (UK).

Dara Ó Brian noted: “I’m delighted to be involved with the Irish Youth Foundation (UK) at this important milestone in the charity’s life and I’m looking forward to supporting its great work with young disadvantaged Irish people in the UK.”

The IYF kicked off its 30th anniversary celebrations this year with a party at the Rotunda Bar and Restaurant at King’s Place on The Regent’s Canal, and the birthday festivities culminate with the IYF Annual Winter Ball, held this year on Friday 6th December at the Grosvenor House Ballroom on Park Lane, with an after-party at Richard Corrigan’s Dickies Bar. Among the special guests on the evening will be the new Patrons, Dara Ó Briain and Richard Corrigan, as well as Alastair Campbell and the Ambassador of Ireland to the UK, His Excellency Adrian O’Neill.


(Tickets for the Ball are available. Please email Linda Tanner for more information.)