2013 was another successful year in the history of the Society of Young Solicitors Ireland. The undoubted highlight of the year was the Annual SYS Conference held in Mount Wolseley Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort last November. Over 300 of Ireland’s finest young legal minds made the trip to Tullow, Co. Carlow for a weekend full of opportunities to meet old friends, make new ones and broaden one’s legal education.
On Saturday, 9 November, the SYS Committee hosted its conference panel discussion which focused on “Legal Scandals in 2013 and their impact on the Irish legal landscape.” Barrister, author and former senior assistant editor of the Sunday Business Post, Kieron Wood, chaired a panel of speakers who discussed a broad range of subject matter under the above theme. Finola Flanagan, full-time Commissioner on the Law Reform Commission of Ireland, provided a detailed insight into the work practices of the Law Reform Commission and how its objectives are influenced by matters of interest in the public and political sphere. Bernadette Parte of Parte and Associates spoke about her remarkable work and involvement in the landmark case of Marie Fleming challenging the law on assisted suicide in Ireland. Shelley Horan BL followed with a whistlestop tour on the subject of white-collar crime and the need for further legislation on this subject in Ireland and provided some colourful examples of cases of this nature. Finally, Catriona O’Dwyer of Brightwater Recruitment gave a brief but informative presentation on the current state of and recruitment trends in the Irish legal market. The quality of the panel of speakers and the appeal of the subject matter being discussed ensured a record turnout at the morning conference, albeit with a few fuzzy heads throughout the room after Friday night’s antics!
On Saturday night, the gladrags were on and the delegates turned out in style for the SYS Gala Dinner. The staff at the Mount Wolseley Hotel laid on a four course feast which was followed by some short speeches and dancing to the sounds of the now resident SYS band, Deja Boo! The night was dedicated to the memory of regular supporter of the SYS, William Claffey Jnr. who tragically passed away in September 2013 – ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
The SYS Committee would like to sincerely thank all our speakers for their generosity, time and contribution to making the Annual SYS Conference 2013 such a success.
In June 2014, the SYS was happy to publicize and support a fundraising event in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Research Motor Neurone. The June Ball was held in the DoubleTree by Hilton on Burlington Road, Dublin on Saturday, 28 June. Over 600 people from all over the country helped to sell out the event and raise a remarkable amount of over €65,000 on the night. The SYS Committee would like to congratulate all involved for their efforts in organising a very enjoyable and successful event for two extremely worthwhile Irish charities.
As the role and remit of the SYS continues to evolve, so does the make-up of its committee. Earlier this year, Mark Dillon (Dillon Eustace) was appointed as Chairperson for 2014/2015, taking over from Stephen Fuller (McCann FitzGerald) in this role. Chloe Culleton (Matheson) has taken over the role of Vice-Chair with Melanie Carroll (Eversheds) assuming responsibility for the position of Treasurer and Sarah Lawn (Mason Hayes & Curran) appointed as Secretary for the year ahead. The SYS Committee also welcomed Michelle Hughes (A&L Goodbody), Philippa Mangan (Arthur Cox), Rory Gavin (William Fry) and James Meehan (Maples and Calder) as its newest members. Finally, the SYS Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank former committee members Aidan Gleeson (William Fry), Laura Cunningham (Arthur Cox) and Yvonne Sheehy (Prothena Corporation plc.) for their effort, enthusiasm and enduring commitment to the SYS over the last few years.
The SYS is delighted to be associated with Brightwater Recruitment as a key sponsor of the SYS and the Annual SYS Conference. Brightwater’s relationship with the SYS has now been going strong for the last fifteen consecutive conferences; a remarkable show of support, particularly considering the changing economic climate in Ireland over the last number of years. The SYS Committee would like to sincerely thank Brightwater Recruitment for this support and hopes that this relationship will continue to prosper long into the future.