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A Court Dinner is great craic

Published on: 9 October 2021

The October Court Dinner kicked off our new Master’s first official Court event in a glorious Irish themed style. The mood was jovial with warm greetings of long unseen peers, friends and an expectation of a good night ahead. Liveryman Danielle Cousins tells us of a night that was great craic for all!

The Master greets His Excellency Adrian O'Neill

Our new Master looked regal at the helm and in true Butchers' Hall style, every detail had been considered to make the night a celebration of our Irish connections. Our guest was the Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdom; His Excellency Adrian O’Neill.

The Clerk opened the night with an Irish Grace and then dinner was underway, I couldn’t help but take a moment to appreciate the wonderful meeting of minds and breaking of bread that the Livery provides a platform for. In fact, due to the randomised seating plan at every Court & Livery event, often strangers come together with only one thing in common - the Meat sector.

Luckily for my husband Lewis and I, we were in fantastic company and the night started with lots of laughter and catch ups with people unseen for a huge length of time. I have never come across a place that enables such a platform for engagement with every link into the Meat trade present, from vets to global traders, Butcher's or (like myself) someone who supplies a service to this wonderful sector.

I have never come across a place that enables such a platform for engagement with every link into the Meat trade present

The Irish themed evening continued in quality and style as Dawn Meats provided the beautifully tender Irish Red Hereford Sirloin of Beef for the main course.

Liveryman Marcus O’Sullivan, one of our resident Paddy’s, toasted our guests with flair. Donal Denvir, General Manager for Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board) was welcomed, together with Liveryman Isla Roebuck and Niall Browne from Dawn Meats. The top table was completed with Master's Christopher Freeman from the Bakers' Company and Robert Flather from the Stationers' Company, who were each accompanied by their Clerk's.

As port and coffee were served, we settled in for the speeches.

Proposer Marcus O'Sullivan with his daughter, Catherine

I learned from the Irish Ambassador that the 1st October 2021, was a new significant milestone in Irish & UK relations as Ireland's minister of Foreign Affairs had opened the new Consulate General in Manchester for the North of England that day. This would join the existing Embassy in London and Consulates in Cardiff & Edinburgh.

He continued to enlighten us that the UK and Irish trade totalled EUR 90bn in 2020, with 15% of Ireland's global exports coming to the UK, but this doubles when it comes to the area of food and drink. However, as always with a mutually beneficial relationship, Ireland is the UK’s 5th largest export market; proximity being a key factor. The relationship between our countries and the Meat sector is extremely strong; and the one with our Livery is longstanding and of strategic importance to us as Liverymen.

L-R: Tracy and Peter Wright, Elaine & Barry Croft, Sandra & Andrew Hackney

This wonderful night has set the tone for the year ahead. We hope the next 12 months will be a fantastic year for the Livery as the world reopens. I am sure our new Master will lead us with tenacity and forward thinking as we emerge from the pandemic, into what will likely be a difficult few years in terms of trade, but in true English style we strive to emerge stronger than ever.


*Thanks to Liveryman Roger Kelsey for the donation of a case of Champagne for the raffle draw, won by Mrs Emma Gray.

*Congratulations to the winners of the 200 Club draw for October - Liverymen Andy Dalton and Norman Hatcliff respectively winning £510.25 and £274.75 .