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IrelandNetwork-20thLogo_reversed-1Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our 20th Annual Ball on February 10, 2024

Last year, Ireland Network marked 20 years of connecting with and contributing to a stronger, more vibrant Irish community. We kicked off this exciting milestone at the 2023 Annual Ball, with the pinnacle event at our 20th Annual Ball in 2024. We hope you will join us on February 10 at The Drake Hotel!

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Event Details

For 20 years, Ireland Network Chicago members and guests have gathered at our annual Ball, and our membership continues to grow to be our largest to date! With over 400 expected attendees, the Ball is the premier Irish community black-tie event. It features a champagne reception, five-course dinner, live band, dancing, a sneak peek performance from Trinity Irish Dance Company, and much more. Additional details to follow!

The Drake Hotel
140 E. Walton Place, Chicago, IL 60611

6:30pm Cocktail Hour
7:30pm Dinner Bell
Dinner, dancing and after-party to follow!

Room Block
While you are at the Ball, enjoy a stay at The Drake!
Click here > Under "Guest Type" select "Attendee".  No access code needed.

Non-Overnight Parking at special event rate of $31 until 2am on day of event
Overnight Parking is $75 Full Valet and $54 self-park in Bloomingdales Building

Black Tie

2024 IN Spirit Award


The IN Spirit Award demonstrates our profound gratitude for an individual's incredible service to the Irish community and is presented at the Annual Ball each February in front of our members, partners and supporters. It is our great privilege to honor Mike Clune with the 2024 IN Spirit Award!

Read More about Mike Clune here

Michael T. Clune, hailing from Dublin, serves as the Chairman of the Irish American Partnership, an organization dedicated to connecting Irish America and friends of Ireland to their heritage through targeted giving to education, community development, and peace initiatives across the island of Ireland.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Mike Clune began his career in the construction business at an early age in Europe and the Middle East. In 1978 he moved to Chicago, Illinois. Shortly after his arrival, he secured an entry-level job at the company that would ultimately be the foundation for building his own firm. Over the years, Mike’s personal work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit guided him in transforming that company into Clune Construction.

In 1996, this same work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit earned Mike his induction into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Sponsored by the University of Chicago, the award is given to innovative business leaders in the Chicago area who have spearheaded private companies, overcome challenges, and exhibited high levels of excellence while demonstrating consistent sales growth, employment generation, innovation and profitability.

Committed to philanthropy across the United States and Ireland, Mike contributes to a wide array of causes. Clune Construction is actively involved in every community in which it is located, and annually donates a percentage of its profits to local and national charities. Clune Construction recently completed a pledge to donate more than $1 million to cancer research. Among the organizations Mike supports are the Irish American Partnership; C.R.A.S.H. USA, of which he is co-founder; Mercy Housing Lakefront; Rebuilding Together; Emeritus of Chicago House; Loyola Academy on the Facilities and Building Committee; and Joseph and Mary Retreat House. Mike and Clune Construction have also actively supported and sponsored many Irish athletes and sporting events, including Padraig Harrington, Michael Conlon, Saint Patrick’s Athletic F.C., Dublin Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the Irish Everest Team, and Junior Olympics.

As Chairman of the Board of the Irish American Partnership, Mike has been investing in Ireland’s future for over two decades, giving to a wide array of programs including education for homeless youth, music education, and primary school STEM initiatives. His dedication to the Partnership’s mission has empowered the organization to raise more than $53 Million for programs across Ireland, North and South, benefiting the lives of young people and communities across the island.

Among Mike Clune’s donations to Ireland is a gift given to Inishbofin National School, the only primary school on the island, the glue that binds the community together. Only 11 km off the coast of Connemara lies the island of Inishbofin, a stunning seafaring community with a single primary school, a church, two pubs, and a handful of seasonal hotels. Dotted with Iron Age forts, medieval monasteries, and sandy white beaches, Inishbofin has long been a popular destination for those seeking a bit of adventure. Yet, for the 180 year-long inhabitants, life can be lonely and difficult. For Mike and his children, Inishbofin represents nearly 100 years of philanthropic commitment to a community that has profoundly impacted their lives. The association began with Clune’s grandfather, Michael J. Clune, who served as postmaster of Clifden, County Galway, from 1923-1935. Every time the postmaster visited Inishbofin, he grew more inspired by its hardworking people and more determined to give them as much as he could. He passed this legacy of commitment and love to his son, Michael A. Clune, who passed it on to his son, Michael T. Clune. In June 2016, Mike brought his children to the island to pledge $25,000 to Inishbofin National School through the Partnership’s O’Neill School Grants program. His grant has been used to purchase iPads, computers, a telescope, and a weather station for the school, connecting students to the outside world. While new technology may seem frivolous in this rugged, rocky environment, it is paramount for keeping students competitive in the modern economy. With the decline of fishing as a source of livelihood, islanders need new ways to survive. They hope that their children will harness their technological skills to stay and make a living in this tightknit community – blending the benefits of modernity with the character of smalltown life.

Thank You to our Generous 2024 Sponsors!

Want to see your name included with the other great sponsors below? Check out our range of sponsorship opportunities here. Event tickets and other enticing perks included at each sponsorship level! Thanks to your support, Ireland Network Chicago will be able to make donations to our charity partners: Concern Worldwide and Irish Community Services.

2024 Ball Sponsorship Packages

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Ornua Logo

Past IN Spirit Award Recipients



2023 IN Spirit Award

It was our great privilege to honor BILLY LAWLESS with the 2023 IN Spirit Award! As a businessman, restaurateur, immigration advocate and Senator, Billy has given a voice to the Irish abroad, provided jobs and resources to Irish in need, and strengthened ties between the U.S. and Ireland. His heartfelt passion, call to service and immeasurable generosity of time and treasures sets an example for us all.

Read the letter from Senator Dick Durbin here and view more testimonials here.

2022 Cliff Carlson, Irish American News 
2020 Dan O'Donnell, Armitage Hardware
2019 Bill Gainer, Galway/Chicago Sister City and Cork/Cook County Partnership