Well, after all the anticipation and talk, the big event , the Irish Law Awards : Commending Excellence in Irish Law – in the Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin, Friday 3rd May, finally arrived. Fergal McManus and I put on our best suits and made the journey from Ulster to Dublin, after being shortlisted for “Ulster Provincial Law Firm of the Year”.
Jimmy Scullion of Iris Legal, our Computer Practise Management system suppliers, who were one of the Sponsors, had kindly invited us to join them at their table; so we didn`t have to pay. My partner Fergal, who is a Cavan man, really appreciated this!
Miriam O`Callaghan, Host of the event – she of RTE fame – was presenting the prizes. I have to say that the thought of attending at the podium to accept our prize from her excited me; in a professional way, of course. We had only arrived at the Wine reception when Miriam passed by us. I have to say, her beauty knows no bounds and, as she appears on TV, she commands the room. BUT, to my horror, with high heels (her`s, I might add) she was at least 6 inches taller than me : how would this look on my photo when accepting the prize from her?
To the Luncheon and the Presentations
We subsequently adjourned for the Luncheon (Dublin term for the “lunch”, that we eat in the middle of the day in the Border Counties) when Miriam made the Presentations. The Ulster Provincial Awards were announced before the Luncheon. After all the anticipation we didn`t win but, I must admit, what I did gain was the opportunity to be present where many top legal firms throughout Ireland, in a time where our country is in deepest recession, were acknowledged and commended for the services which they are providing to their clients in these very difficult economic times. I was honoured that we had been shortlisted to be considered their peers. I was inspired to determine that, by next year, we will have stepped up our level of service to ensure that we are nominated again and might possibly win (I have always been a very positive guy!).
The highlight of the Event
After the Luncheon was over I suggested to Fergal that we should introduce ourselves to Dr Eamonn G. Hall, Chairman of the Awards, who is originally from Donaghmoyne, County Monaghan. Pushing out the boat (as I do!), I asked him if we could have our photo taken with him – for the folks back home, of course. Eamonn graciously acceded but, as Miriam O`Callaghan passed by me again (for the second time that day – was this chance or fate?) Eamonn invited Miriam to join us. As it happens, the former Minister for Justice Nora Owens was also in the vicinity and Eamonn invited her to join us also. Fergal thought this was also fortuitous as he always slags me that I am a closet Fine Gael supporter, having been apprenticed many years ago to TJ Fitzpatrick & Co., Cavan.
As you will see, I got my photo with Miriam and, better than any of the winners, Fergal and I also managed to get the Chairman of the Event and the former Minister for Justice into the photo. MUST BE THE BEST PHOTO OF THE DAY! And I got to stand beside Miriam …. standing on my tip-toes (and accordingly only 3 inches shorter than her), which I could not have done on the podium.
That`s the thing about Morgan McManus : we always manage to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat !