Belfast Telegraph

Stars come out for Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce dinner

Rugby legend, jazz star and top soprano hit high notes at business chiefs' bash

Teamwork, overcoming adversity and leading by example are the secrets to winning in both sport and business, according to Irish rugby star Brian O'Driscoll.

The most capped player to pull on a green jersey for Ireland was the guest speaker at the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce's 230th anniversary dinner on Tuesday night and one of the star attractions at the first business event to be held in the Titanic Belfast building.

"From a team and leadership aspect there are lots of things the business world can learn from sport, such as bouncing back from disappointment and adversity and overcoming particular hurdles you've encountered through your career," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"That is a great quality of people in Northern Ireland who seem to have resilience ingrained in their character and an ability to move on from adversity."

He also said he admired the courtesy shown by the people of Northern Ireland and praised the innovation of Newry company First Derivatives and the forward thinking of Queen's University's plans in China.

More than 700 people attended the event attended by celebrities and politicians, including Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

Jazz singer Jamie Cullum topped the bill after soprano Lynda Barrett had warmed the crowd up with an excellent rendition of Danny Boy. She was accompanied on the piano by multi-talented public relations man Jonathan Ireland.