Michael Flatley receives prestigious Ireland-U.S. Council Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Performing Arts in New York and hosts charity dinner for Breakthrough Cancer Research

Michael Flatley, Tom Higgins President Ireland-U.S. Council at the Ireland-U.S. Council
Annual St. Patrick’s Day Lunch, The Metropolitan Club, NYC.  Photo: James Higgins

Michael Flatley was honoured at a prestigious event in Manhattan, New York, last week as he was presented with the Ireland-U.S. Council’s Award for Outstanding Achievement, following a nomination by Breakthrough Cancer Research, for whom he is an ambassador.

Orla Dolan, CEO of Breakthrough Cancer Research said that Michael spoke passionately and from the heart about his own cancer diagnosis at the event. He said too many people have been impacted by cancer like him, but the good news is that more people than ever can be saved thanks to the groundbreaking treatments brought about by cancer research. ‘The treatment I had only came about because of the power of research so we must all do everything we can to support the fantastic work being done in this area by Breakthrough Cancer Research so we can help as many people as possible survive the disease.’

Orla Dolan, C.E.O. of Breakthrough Cancer Research speaking at the Ireland-U.S. Council
Annual St. Patrick’s Day Lunch.   Photo: James Higgins

Orla introduced Michael Flatley at the Ireland-U.S. Council lunch, where Flatley received his Award for Outstanding Contribution. She commended him for his innovation and philanthropy work. ‘Michael Flatley embodies creativity and innovation. 30 years ago, he changed the way we all felt about one of our oldest cultural traditions when he revolutionised Irish dance. He shattered conventions, defied expectations, and sparked a worldwide Irish dance phenomenon that has lasted to this day. He changed the way we felt about the place we could have in the world and a new confidence rose up in Ireland.’  

Still, Michael’s impact extends far beyond the realm of art and entertainment. He has always quietly supported various causes, including being a supporter and ambassador of Breakthrough Cancer Research for 12 years. His dedication to innovation, his example to be creative and dream bigger, resonates deeply with our own mission. For if you want to find new innovative, better ways to treat cancer, you can’t settle for the way that it has always been, you must create them. Michael Flatley’s story serves as a reminder to dance, to dare, to dream, to change, to inspire and to believe that we can create a better future.’

At the event, Flatley was also acknowledged for his talents that extend beyond the stage; he is a skilled flautist, a former boxer, an actor, a producer, and an artist who has redefined the art form with his innovative footwork.

Orla Dolan, C.E.O. Brekthrough Cancer Research with Michael Flatley and Eoghan O’Sullivan, Fundraising Manager, Breakthrough Cancer Research

Michael Flatley and his wife Niamh Flatley also hosted a high-profile excusive dinner at the Rockefeller Centre for Breakthrough Cancer Research, with New York business leaders. Michael generously donated one of his paintings for auction at the dinner, which raised significant funds for the charity.

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