The Irish American Partnership has announced the appointment of Ireland’s decorated LPGA Tour star, Leona Maguire as ambassador. Through the partnership, Leona will be donating $1 million over the next four years to schools across Ireland, further enabling them to educate and inspire young people across the entire island.
The charitable partnership was born out of a mutual commitment to empowering the next generation of Irish leaders through education. In her capacity as ambassador, Maguire will champion the Irish American Partnership’s mission, specifically its efforts to ensure schools across the island have adequate resources to educate and inspire through its hallmark O’Neill Direct Grants to Schools program.
CEO Mary Sugrue welcomed Maguire to the team, “We are absolutely delighted to have such an incredible Irish sportsperson and role model join the Irish American Partnership. At 27, Leona has achieved so much, as the first Irishwoman to compete in the Solheim Cup and to win an LPGA Tour title, backed by her entire nation. We are immensely proud and honoured to have Leona involved in our mission to invest in and support young people across the island.”
Maguire said, “Coming from a family of teachers, I appreciate the importance and value of education, and I’m delighted to play a part in giving back to schools. By investing in Ireland’s future—its youth—the Partnership is ensuring that every child can have the resources they need to learn, and to grow. I’m so proud to join them as an ambassador, as they support children and communities across the length and breadth of the island.”
Maguire’s steadfast belief in the power of education runs in the family. To tee off the ambassadorship, the Irish American Partnership awarded €10,000 grants to St. Patrick’s National School-Corlough and St. Patrick’s National School-Castletara, in honour of her parents and principals of the two primary schools, Declan and Breda Maguire. Maguire proudly presented the two grants at a launch event in her native Cavan today.
CEO Mary Sugrue, United States Ambassador to Ireland Claire Cronin with her husband Ray, and Partnership Board member and Chair of its Golf Championship Series Aidan Browne were present to celebrate the generosity inherent in the Irish-American relationship that made the contributions possible. Also on hand to mark the occasion along with her proud parents was Leona’s sister Lisa.
“We are so grateful to the Irish American Partnership for the grant awarded to both St. Patrick’s National School-Corlough and St. Patrick’s National School-Castletara. The funds will be used to invest back into several initiatives to benefit all the pupils and we are delighted to hear that many other schools will also receive the generous funding over the coming years. It really is so very generous” said Principal Breda Maguire.
Sixty-five (65) schools across Ireland have seen $250,000 in funding as part of the Partnership’s 2022 grants to date. With Maguire aboard and thanks to the continued generosity of its committed donors on both sides of the Atlantic, the Irish American Partnership is committed to providing a further $1 million to schools over the next four years.
The Irish American Partnership’s collaboration with Maguire builds upon the success of previous initiatives including nationwide university access scholarships, empathy education in secondary schools, education centres for homeless youth, STEM resources to primary schools, technology apprenticeships as a gateway to employment, and more recently, an Outdoor Play & Learning program, launched by Partnership patron and fellow professional golfer, Pádraig Harrington.