Constance Cassidy to address BPW summer lunch

Constance Cassidy SC is to be the guest speaker at the BPW summer lunch to be held next month at The Ardilaun.

The BPW summer lunch will take place on May 14 when his event, generously sponsored by Pauline O’Reilly & Co solicitors will hear Ms Cassidy, and Console will benefit from the proceeds of the raffle.

The BPW Summer Lunch is a flagship social event for the club and it is also the main charity fundraising event of the year. It is always a very well supported event by members and friends and many stylish women attend.

This year’s sponsor is family law and employment law specialist, Pauline O’Reilly & Co solicitors. With offices at Francis Street, the city’s legal hub, the firm has earned a reputation for excellence, not just in family law and employment law, but in other key areas, such as litigation, alternative dispute resolution, wills and probate, landlord and tenant, conveyancing and property disputes.

The firm’s founder and principal solicitor, Pauline O’Reilly, says she’s delighted to be involved this year: “BPW is a vital resource for women who are in, or thinking of getting into business and the professions in Galway. It brings enterprising people together, helping them individually to identify new business opportunities and collectively to become involved in the wider community”.

This year’s guest speaker is Constance Cassidy SC — a barrister, author, wife and the mother of seven young children. She also owns Lissadell House with her husband, Eddie Walsh SC. As a barrister, Constance specialises in licensing law, like her father before her.

Her first book, The Licensing Acts, Ireland is a seminal licensing reference work, and she has published two handbooks for the licensed trade.

Ms Cassidy was educated at Kilashee in Naas (where she was one of the first girls in what was then a boys’ school ) and at Cross & Passion College in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare. She read law at Trinity College, followed by a spell at Kings Inns. To fund her studies she worked for a firm of solicitors as a law clerk. Her first pay packet was £18. The following week she got £22 as she had served a summons which earned her an extra four pounds.

She was called to the Bar in 1985, and as a young barrister waiting for briefs she assiduously collated all the licensing statues and licensing cases she could find, and this led to her first book on the Licensing Acts, which has been continuously updated and in print since 1995.

Ms Cassidy took silk in 2001. Today she has an extensive and countrywide practice in licensing matters, and is, in addition, a frequent adviser and lecturer on licensing issues. 34 per cent of barristers in Ireland are women. Only nine per cent are senior counsel. [2003 figs. Current figs to be checked with Bar Council]

As a mother, she has seven young children, including three teenagers, one of whom is doing his Junior Cert this year.

Ms Cassidy and her husband bought Lissadell House and Gardens in Sligo in 2003. Their vision was to transform the estate into a flagship for tourism in Sligo and the North West, to provide a secure environment for their seven children and to interest them in continuing this work at Lissadell for the next generation.

Console is the charity which will receive funds generated by the raffle at the event. Console was established in 2002 by families who had experienced the grief of losing a loved one through suicide. Every suicide has a serious impact on at least six people and can devastate entire communities, and with an average of 500 suicides a year in this country, there are very few residents in Ireland who have not in some way, been touched by the knock on effects of such a tragic death.

Console has developed into a professional organisation, responding to the needs of those bereaved through suicide within the community. Console is a national service with centres in Dublin, Galway and Limerick. The Galway centre is located at 9A Elm Park, Renmore. National Helpline No: 1800 201 890 Website:www.console

For further information and to purchase tickets for this event please contact Collett Nugent on 087 9034765 or Aine Feeney on 091 534200

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