Connecting our members!

Connecting our members!

One of the central missions of Irish Network USA, and perhaps the one we get the most pleasure out of, is connecting our members in their shared efforts to ‘invest’ in Ireland through business, music, education, and sports.


That’s why we are very excited about this joint initiative of INUSA members Tara O’Grady (Irish Network NYC) and Niall Leogue (Irish Network DC).


Already boasting a following clear across the US, it has been pleasure to help arrange opportunities for Tara to perform for our chapters in Austin, New Jersey, and New Orleans, and we have a feeling there’ll be more!


Niall Leogue is a Board member of Irish Network DC, and as the owner of Caddie Tours based in Vienna, Virginia, is responsible for many, many happy visitors to every corner of Ireland!


Now they have teamed up and organized the first ever Tara O’Grady 2016 Failte Music Tour of Ireland. From October 24- November 1 guests will tour Ireland from top to bottom, starting in Donegal where she spent every summer growing up as a child, visiting castles and craftshops, listening to storytellers at sessions with traditional Irish musicians and driving down the Wild Atlantic Way experiencing the most breathtaking ocean views in Europe. Tara and her Black Velvet Band will perform in stops along the way, including in Galway, Cork, during the world famous Cork Guinness Jazz Festival, and Dublin, celebrating Halloween where the holiday began.


For a complete itinerary, prices, or to book your spots on this very special tour email Niall today!



The Pfizer deal – pointing the finger at Ireland

Sean Moynihan, President, Irish Network Boston, clears up the misconception regarding Ireland’s status as a tax haven.


Labeling seems to be something we as Americans do more of these days.  I know I am as guilty as anyone but the consequences can be dangerous and lead to inaccurate perceptions which can lead to false realities.  I think that referring to Ireland as a “tax haven” falls into this category.  Aside from the fact that Ireland does not meet the standards of a so-called tax haven, as defined by the OECD, (see here) there remains those who irresponsibly and cavalierly label the country as such.  This issue has yet again raised its head with reports of the massive deal between Pfizer and Allergan and the anticipated move of Pfizer’s operations to Ireland where Allergan is headquartered.  On Monday the Irish Times reported, “A deal, structured as a tax inversion, would see Pfizer move its tax base to Ireland where Allergan is based, allowing the company to avoid US tax bills on more than $128 billion of profits earned overseas.”
The deal has reignited an on-going debate about US companies based in foreign countries for the sole purposes of evading US tax.  Ireland has been front and center as many major US corporations call Ireland their legal home where there is a 12.5% corporate tax rate.  The arguments, however, too often put the focus on other countries’ practices and sets blame on them for offering an unfair advantage. An alternative, that would unfortunately require Congress to come together on something, would be a frank and substantive discussion about the problems with our own tax code and ultimately a comprehensive legislative package to address the effect of corporate taxation on international business. After all, our own corporate rate has been a whopping 35% for some time and Ireland did not set its corporate tax rate yesterday.

American politicians are no strangers to this debate.  In 2004, Congress passed a law (26 U.S. Code § 7874 – Rules relating to expatriated entities and their foreign parents) that, among other things, took aim at corporations engaged in “corporate inversions” – which is basically reincorporating in a foreign country that has a low corporate income tax rate allegedly for the sole purpose of avoiding US tax on that income.  The term “expatriated entity” was born in this law.  President Obama supported the initiative and specifically mentioned Ireland as a target country.

Former US Sen. Carl Levin who was extremely vocal in his characterization of Ireland as a tax haven – supported only by his own “common sense” test, expressed his outrage with Apple, referring to its strategy as “the Holy Grail of tax avoidance” (Washington Post 5/20/13) – using what became known as the “Double Irish” tax.  Sen. Bernie Sanders has added his voice to the mix in his run to win the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, which is no surprise as he considers himself a socialist – although I doubt there are many Americans who can appreciate what true socialism is.

In an effort to preserve its tax rate and appease critics from the US and Europe, Ireland eliminated the so-called “Double Irish” tax, coined as such because companies would establish 2 subsidiaries in Ireland – one that collects profits and another that moves those profits through a separate entity headquartered in a country with a lower rate than Ireland’s.

Although legal, are these tax schemes unfair to America?  There is certainly a strong argument in favor, but in the interests of transparency and honesty, there is also a strong argument that the classification of Ireland as a so-called tax haven is not only false but also grossly unfair.  All too often, politicians and others attribute a company’s presence in Ireland solely to avail of its corporate income tax rate without looking deeper and considering the many other benefits the country has to offer to help business thrive.

To suggest that a 12.5% corporate tax is the sole consideration a company gives in moving to or expanding into Ireland is, in my opinion, either naive or manipulative.  Is the rate attractive? Of course it is, particularly given the fact that the bottom line purpose of a business is to make a profit.

Lest we forget, Ireland offers:

  • a highly talented and skilled workforce,
  • outstanding and competitive schools and universities (1 of top 10 countries globally),
  • competitive cost of living,
  • stable labor costs,
  • 5 hour flight from the east coast,
  • English speaking,
  • excellent quality of life,
  • proximate gateway to Europe for US companies;
  • and yes – competitive corporate tax rate at 12.5%

In none of the recent reporting on either side of the Atlantic that I have read or listened to has there been any discussion of the above referenced benefits or, for example, the R&D and regulatory advantages which are available in Ireland and the EU – particularly for biotech, life sciences and medical device companies.

Also, for anyone to suggest that the US is losing significant jobs to Ireland is inaccurate.  Due to a lack of jobs, Ireland has seen hundreds of thousands (89,000 in 2013 alone) emigrate from its shores since the Great Recession (many in their twenties) in search of work to places like Canada and Australia.

Let’s not forget Northern Ireland which is home to many blue chip American companies – as I made reference to in this blog last year.  AllState, Liberty Mutual, CVS, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, NY Stock Exchange, Intel, Concentrix, and Citi to name but a few.  These companies, however, pay the UK corporate tax rate of 20% and are indeed happy as I learned first hand visiting Liberty Mutual in Belfast last September.

In 2018, there will finally be the devolution of tax powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly from Westminster and the corporate tax rate as proposed is 12.5% – consistent with the south.  Are they the next haven?

Aside from being outright false, the danger here is that Ireland, in the context of business, becomes a euphemism for tax haven.  For all that the emigrants of that country have done for ours and for the incredible business partnerships that have been developed between our countries, it would be shameful for that to happen.  Ireland deserves more than soundbites and labeling.

Keynote Speaker Announced for INUSA15

Keynote Speaker Announced for INUSA15

Irish Network USA is proud to announce that Mark Redmond, Chief Executive, American Chamber of Commerce Ireland will be a keynote speaker at their third annual National Conference to be held November 5-8 in Boston, MA. Mr. Redmond will address delegates during the plenary session on Friday, November 6, on the continued efforts to drive trade and investment between Ireland and the US in both directions. Mr. Redmond will also formally introduce Irish Network USA to the American Chamber’s “World of Talent in Ireland” initiative and participate in a Q&A with those in attendance.


This conference will be the third hosted by INUSA, with the first two being held in Washington, D.C. and Austin, Texas respectively. These conferences provide an opportunity for INUSA members to hear from a variety of speakers on topics related to INUSA’s mission of encouraging “investment” in Ireland. Other speakers confirmed for this year’s conference include Ambassador Anne Anderson, Christina Noble, Founder, The Noble Foundation, and Joe O’Brien, Project Manager, Crosscare Migrant Project.


“One of the pillars on which Irish Network USA has been built on is supporting the efforts of US companies seeking to do business in and through Ireland,” stated Steve Lenox, President, Irish Network USA. “Within our ranks we have countless members with the education, skills and desire to fill many of the roles that are being created in Ireland by American Chamber member companies. It is fitting that we would work with the American Chamber to achieve this goal, and we are honored that Mark Redmond would take time out of his schedule to join us at what we know will be a memorable conference.”


The American Chamber is the leading international business organization in Ireland. It represents the interests of the 700 US companies in Ireland who employ 140,000 people. In May the Chamber in partnership with IDA Ireland launched the World of Talent in Ireland campaign. The initiative promotes strength of the career opportunities that now exist in Ireland, targeting third level graduates of Irish universities.


Speaking about the event Mr. Redmond said “I am delighted to be participating in this great initiative. The key to the strength of Ireland’s relationship with the United States is the enduring commitment of leaders from business and cultural communities. IN USA is a great example of this commitment, I am looking forward to addressing the delegates on how to grow the relationship now and into the future.”


“Irish Network Boston is looking forward to welcoming INUSA members from across the country to our city in November” stated Sean Moynihan, President, IN Boston. “Many Boston companies have chosen Ireland as their European HQ, and the work of the American Chamber to make them feel right at home have led hugely to the success of their efforts. It is an honor for us locally to welcome Mark!”

With 20 chapters across the United States, and local efforts underway in an additional 7 cities/regions, Irish Network USA has the broad mission of connecting members of the “Global Irish” living in the United States by bolstering business opportunities and economic development between the United States and Ireland; supporting and encouraging Irish Arts and Culture through film, literature, theater, dance and language; encouraging and promoting the mission and expansion of Irish sports, throughout the United States; supporting the efforts of local Irish organizations and associations; and serving as a conduit between newly arrived Irish immigrants and their communities in Member cities and states.


“For our members ‘investing in Ireland’ means a lot of different things”, stated Deirdre Woodbyrne, Executive Director, Irish Network USA. “Whether it’s business, culture, education, sport, or anything else that drives one to want to connect with Ireland, we aim to provide that vehicle. In essence, we are a one stop shop for the ‘Global Irish’ to connect with Ireland in a tangible way.”


Global Irish Parliamentarian Forum- Why it Mattered

Last week Steve Lenox, President, INUSA, had the opportunity to attend the Global Irish Parliamentarian Forum in Dublin- following are his thoughts on the conference:


It was a pleasure to attend parts of last week’s Global Irish Parliamentarian Forum hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.


While I don’t hold public office, getting a chance to speak with elected officials from not only the U.S. but also Canada, UK and Australia gave me even greater insight into the Global Irish which will serve me well with both efforts on behalf of the clients I represent and in my role as President of Irish Network USA.


Of special significance for me was the attendance of two members of the New Jersey Legislature, both of whom I have great respect for. Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo and Assemblyman Tim Eustace took time out of their busy schedules to attend this Forum, not just for the “craic”, but also to be part of the meaningful discussions that took place with their counterparts from across the globe.


What I heard, first during their time speaking on the floor of the Dail, a rare honor accorded to very few foreign elected officials, and then throughout other parts of the program, reminded me again that connecting with each other online is valuable, but there is no substitute for a face to face connection.


In addition to their “Irishness”, all of the participants, regardless of political party, have a passion for the work they do, and put remarkable efforts towards making the communities they serve stronger and even better. From jobs creation to educational opportunities, those in attendance were reminded again that there is much more that unites us than divides us, and often came back to the realization that there is something in their DNA, a passion for helping others, a desire to give just a little bit more, that gives them a particular focus and drive to do their jobs.


The compassion in their hearts, and deep understanding of the suffering of generations past, also brought them back to the current global crisis that is bring us disturbing images of great suffering among Syrian refugees forced to leave their homes in hopes that something better is waiting for them. How can the lessons of the Irish Diaspora be applied to helping these poor families who have lost so much, and likely face years, if not generations, of difficulty in being forced to assimilate into a new culture?


Were all of the problems and issues these lawmakers face on behalf of their constituents solved? Absolutely not. But meaningful conversation leads to meaningful solutions, and all in attendance have returned home, with more than they started with when the gavel was brought down to convene the Forum. Minister Jimmy Deenihan and the Global Irish Unit outdid themselves again, and deserve great credit for bringing this wonderful event to Dublin.

INUSA ’15: Getting the Conversation Going

Summer isn’t over yet, but we’re already gearing up for this year’s INUSA Annual Conference which will take place on November 5th-November 8th at the Seaport Boston Hotel.  While the conference is just over two months away, we wanted to get the conversation going now by telling you about two features on our conference page that will allow you to start engaging with fellow INUSA community members.

When you RSVP for the conference you will receive a link to setup an account and public profile.  Once you are logged in, scroll down and you will see your name on the right side of the screen.  Click on your name and you will see your public profile.  You can fill in details here like your Twitter handle, a short bio, a photo (so attendees can put a face to a name), a longer bio and how you want other attendees to be able to reach out to you before, during and after the conference.RSVP soon to reserve your spot and join the conversation.


We are also excited to announce that, to kick off the countdown to the conference, a donor has come forward with a dollar-for-dollar match up to $1,500 total for the next 72 hours, so every dollar you donate is worth $2.  Help INUSA continue to grow and further connect the Global Irish by making a contribution today!

INUSA is able to connect the Global Irish Community through programs such as our Annual Conference because of the generosity of our donors, sponsors and supporters.  Thank you in advance for being a partner in our growth and success as a community.

Saratoga Wilton Soccer Club Boys 12U to Play Friendly Matches in Ireland!

INUSA sends best wishes to the Saratoga Wilton Soccer Club as they arrive in Ireland!  The memories they make will last a lifetime – a great example of a local community building bridges back to Ireland.

August 19, 2015, Saratoga Springs, NY – Today 12U boys soccer players with the Saratoga Wilton Soccer Club will be embarking on a trip of a lifetime to play friendly matches against similar age boys in Ireland. The 14 local boys, their families and head coach undertook a series of fundraisers to support their week of travel set to begin on August 19, 2015. They will play matches near Galway, Ireland and Wexford, Ireland August 21st and August 24th, making stops of interest along their route around the southern end of the island through Cork and concluding in Dublin.

“The things that have stood out to me through the planning of this whole experience has been the commitment of the parents to make this opportunity a reality, and the generosity of community businesses, friends and families,” said Coach Rob Kelly. “I could not have envisioned such dedication from so many people. Bringing a team over 3,000 miles away is not just an amazing experience for the boys and their families, but it will be an honor for me to introduce them to my home country. It will be a good test against kids who have much more exposure to the sport. Aside from the soccer, I am delighted to show 14 families some parts of Ireland and its beauty. We have to give a great thanks to the support of the Saratoga Wilton Soccer Club and the generous donors and businesses in the community who helped make this happen.”

Coach Kelly, a native of Dublin, Ireland, working professionally in Saratoga County, arranged the matches with youth coaches in his home country. Local businesses helped with sponsorship of this unique opportunity for international exchange. The Adirondack Trust Company, Albany Pool Rebuilders, Aztech Environmental Technologies, Byrne Orthodontics, Concord Pools & Spas, Cudney’s Cleaners, Daniel Fleming Dentistry, First Touch Soccer USA, Galarneau Builders, Jointa Galusha LLC & Pallete Stone Corp, Merrill Lynch, Mangino Buick/Pontiac/GMC, New Country Toyota, Pet Lodges, Price Chopper, Recovery Sports Grill, State Farm & Agent Bob Bissonnette, Stewart’s Shops, Turbo Parts, LLC and West Point Thoroughbreds all bought banners for display during the popular spring and early summer season at the Club’s home pitches at Gavin Park in Wilton. Allerdice, Applebee’s, Bonacio Construction, Dr. Singh, Hoffman’s Car Wash and Wal-Mart made donations or afforded community based fundraising opportunities to further support the team’s travel expenses.

In recent weeks the team has been resuming their practices in preparation for the trip. More photos and thanks can be viewed via the team’s Facebook page,

CONTACT:  Bill Teator, 703-338-0152 direct mobile

Coach Rob Kelly, 518-362-6343,

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