Golfer Leona Maguire is new Irish American Partnership ambassador

The Irish American Partnership today announced the  appointment of decorated Irish golfer Leona Maguire as ambassador. 

The charitable partnership was born out of a mutual commitment to empowering the next generation of  Irish leaders through education. In her capacity as ambassador, Maguire will champion the Irish American  Partnership’s mission, specifically its efforts to ensure schools across the island have adequate resources  to educate and inspire through its hallmark O’Neill Direct Grants to Schools program. 

CEO Mary Sugrue welcomed Maguire to the team, “We are absolutely delighted to have such an  incredible Irish sportsperson and role model join the Irish American Partnership. At 27, Leona has  achieved so much, as the first Irishwoman to compete in the Solheim Cup and to win an LPGA event,  backed by her entire nation. We are immensely proud and honored to have Leona involved in our mission to invest in and support young people across the island.”  

Maguire said, “Coming from a family of teachers, I appreciate the importance and value of education, and  I’m delighted to play a part in giving back to schools. By investing in Ireland’s future—its youth—the  Partnership is ensuring that every child can have the resources they need to learn, and to grow. I’m so  proud to join them as an ambassador, as they support children and communities across the length and  breadth of the island.” 

Maguire’s steadfast belief in the power of education runs in the family. To tee off the ambassadorship,  the Irish American Partnership awarded €10,000 grants St. Patrick’s National School-Corlough, and St.  Patrick’s National School-Castletara, in honor of her parents and principals of the two primary schools,  

Declan and Breda Maguire. Maguire proudly presented the two grants at a launch event in her native  Cavan today. 

CEO Mary Sugrue, US Ambassador Claire Cronin with her husband Ray, and Partnership Board member  and Chair of its Golf Championship Series Aidan Browne, were present to celebrate the generosity  inherent in the Irish-American relationship that made the contributions possible. Also on hand to mark  the occasion along with her proud parents was Leona’s sister Lisa. 

“We are so grateful to the Irish American Partnership for the grant awarded to both St. Patrick’s National  School-Corlough and St. Patrick’s National School-Castletara. The funds will be used to invest back into  several initiatives to benefit all the pupils and we are delighted to hear that many other schools will also  receive the generous funding over the coming years. It really is so very generous” said Principal Breda Maguire.  

Sixty-five (65) schools across Ireland have seen $250,000 in funding as part of the Partnership’s 2022 grants to date. With Maguire aboard and thanks to the continued generosity of its committed donors on  both sides of the Atlantic, the Irish American Partnership is committed to providing a further $1 million to  schools over the next four years. 

The Irish American Partnership’s collaboration with Maguire builds upon the success of previous  initiatives including nationwide university access scholarships, empathy education in secondary schools, education centers for homeless youth, STEM resources to primary schools, technology apprenticeships as  a gateway to employment, and more recently, an Outdoor Play & Learning program, launched by  Partnership patron and fellow professional golfer, Pádraig Harrington.  

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Leona entered the professional game in 2018 off the back of a record-breaking collegiate career with  Duke University. The proud Irishwoman has been a serial winner ever since she took up the sport in Co.  Cavan, but it was her decision to move to America, inspired by her life-long ambition to play on the LPGA  Tour, that catapulted Leona into the big leagues. As an amateur, Leona was a three-time Curtis Cup  player with Great Britain and Ireland, a two-time Olympian representing Ireland in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 2017 she captured the Ladies British Amateur Championship title,  becoming serial winner on the collegiate circuit too, Maguire sat atop the world amateur golf ranking for  an incredible 135 weeks – the longest combined total at number one in women’s history. Leona became  the first Irish woman to represent the winning Team Europe in the 2021 Solheim Cup. She was a crucial  player becoming the greatest Solheim Cup rookie when she went unbeaten. In February 2022 Leona  followed this feat up by winning her debut title on the LPGA at the Drive On Championship and in doing  so became the first Irish woman to win on the LPGA in history. More: maguire 


Since 1986, the Irish American Partnership has raised more than $50 million in support of schools,  education programs, and communities across the island of Ireland. Dedicated to connecting Irish America  and friends of Ireland to their Irish heritage through direct giving, the Partnership provides targeted 

grants to schools, provides university access scholarships, funds education centers for homeless youth  supports peace and reconciliation initiatives in Northern Ireland, and champions Gaelic games, Irish arts,  culture, and more. The Partnership is a dynamic, grassroots organization that is respected and endorsed  by leaders across education, community, and government sectors. Learn more: