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A homage to Virginia Gallico

As founding member and Trustee, Virginia Gallico’s dedication and passion for the Princess Grace Irish Library reached across almost forty years from the early germ of the idea and its inauguration in 1984 until 2017, when she stepped down from her role. She continued as Honorary Trustee until her recent death. Her tireless work and invaluable guidance to the staff over the years were greatly appreciated and her life's work will continue to benefit the Library.

Entrusted with the role of Trustee by Prince Rainier III, Mrs Gallico embraced the vision and goals of the Library and put her extensive knowledge of literature to good work. She strived with boundless energy to promote it as a centre of cultural excellence for Ireland, which gained recognition internationally. Her skill in developing its activities, ensured that Princess Grace's personal collection of Irish books and music scores played an important part in academic research and its treasures appreciated by visitors from all around the globe. Her commitment was inspiring. Mrs Gallico regularly attended the informative lectures at the Library, accompanying H.S.H. Prince Albert II to the events that He attended.

In addition to her work as Trustee, Mrs Gallico’s network of contacts ensured financial support for the Library, resulting in vital developments, thanks to those generous patrons. 

Her life’s achievements are celebrated and continue to be valued by eminent academics and distinguished visitors to Monaco and those who benefit from the Princess Grace Irish Library on a daily basis, including the school children of Monaco, so dear to the Princess.

We are deeply saddened by her passing in June 2022 and extend our deepest sympathies to her family.

H.S.H. Prince Albert II with Virginia Gallico (to the left) and members of the Sovereign's family

Décès de Mrs Paul Gallico, Trustee de la Princess Grace Irish Library, de 1984 à 2017

C’est avec une profonde tristesse que nous avons appris le décès de Mrs Paul Gallico, membre fondateur de la Bibliothèque. Elle en fut Trustee dès sa création en 1984 et demeura un infatigable soutien de nos activités. Madame Gallico a soutenu, avec passion, la Princess Grace Irish Library jusqu’en 2017, date à laquelle, elle est devenue Trustee Honoraire.

Sous son impulsion, la Bibliothèque s’est développée en tant que centre culturel Irlandais reconnu à l’International tant par l’organisation de conférences que de colloques en présence d’éminents universitaires.

Présente lors de visites officielles, de concerts de la Saint Patrick et aussi lors de la gestion du quotidien, sa grande connaissance du monde littéraire, ses nombreux contacts, son élégance et son énergie communicative nous ont accompagné pendant de très nombreuses années de même que son formidable sens de l’humour.

Toujours disponible et attentive à la fois auprès des conférenciers que de l’équipe de la Bibliothèque, elle a fait rayonner la Culture Irlandaise sans jamais se départir de son sourire et de son expression légendaire : « Onwards and Upwards » !

Nous présentons nos plus sincères et respectueuses condoléances à sa famille.

Virginia Gallico with Charles Lysaght, author & biographer (to the right), Mark Armstrong, Director Sotheby's Monaco & Library Trustee (left) and Francis O'Hara, English language specialist & Library Trustee (far-right)

Year 2013: Virginia Gallico (far-right) beside H.E. Paul Kavanagh Irish Ambassador to Monaco and his wife Mrs. Rosemary Kavanagh, Mr Michael Fitgerald, President of The Ireland Fund of Monaco, Mrs Anne-Marie Boisbouvier, Conseiller au Cabinet de S.A.S. le Prince Albert II and Gerald Angley (Irish Embassy, Premier Secrétaire Economie). The Ambassador accompanied H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and the then Ms Charlene Wittstock on the State Visit that His Serene Highness made to Ireland in 2011.

Photo: Mrs Paul Gallico and Francis O'Hara (former Trustee) at the Princess Grace Irish Library