The fifth annual Hong Kong Irish Chamber of Commerce Dinner this year had Brian O'Driscoll as guest of honour.
The dinner is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Paul Costigan, who has worked in numerous start- ups around the region. This year there were 375 attendees, making it the largest to date. Hosting was chamber president Ian Carroll.
John Montgomery, co-founder of Morphis Design, wrote recently in this paper about how helpful the Irish diaspora, particularly the chamber, can be when trying to set up in Hong Kong, and the annual dinner is a great example of this.
The Irish community in Hong Kong is one of the busiest in the region. During the evening Asia Briefing spoke to Irish folk working in accountancy, property and construction.
The Macau chamber was there in force, as were Shanghai and Tokyo. There was also a special award for former Hong Kong judge Ian Candy, now on the Torture Claims Appeal Board.
O'Driscoll's talk – an interview format with Ireland's consul general Peter Ryan – was a funny mix of insight and self-deprecation. He spoke of how hard it was, for example, to go to the gym when you're not being paid to do so.
“Because I’ve only myself to let down, apparently I’m okay with that,” he said.