The government has announced details of the largest St Patrick’s Day travel programme since it came to office.
28 of Ireland’s 30 ministers will be travelling abroad, with many leading trade missions to encourage foreign investment in Ireland.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will lead the programme, travelling to New York, Boston and Washington DC while Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin heads for China.
The programme marks the first time that ministers will have travelled to Vietnam or Mexico, and the first time in four years that one will go to Russia.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn and Junior Finance Minister Brian Hayes are the only members of Government not travelling abroad this St. Patrick’s day.
Who is going where:
Taoiseach Enda Kenny – New York, Boston and Washington DC
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore – France
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan – Canada
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin – China
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton – Italy
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton – New York
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan – San Francisco
Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte – London and Birmingham
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan – United Arab Emirates
Minister for Justice and Equality and Minister for Defence Alan Shatter – Mexico
Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food Simon Coveney – New Zealand and Eastern Australia
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Frances Fitzgerald – Japan and Korea
Minister for Health James Reilly – Boston and Cleveland
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar – Atlanta and Savannah
Attorney General Máire Whelan SC – Washington DC
Minister of State at the Department of The Taoiseach & Defence Paul Kehoe – Lebanon
Minister of State, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government Jan O’Sullivan – Scotland
Minister of State for the Gaeltacht Dinny McGinley – Pittsburgh and Philadelphia
Minister of State for Small Business John Perry – Spain
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring – Netherlands
Minister of State, Department of Health and Department of Justice, Equality & Defence Kathleen Lynch – Vietnam
Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources and Environment, Community & Local Government Fergus O’Dowd – Germany
Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation and Department of Education & Skills Sean Sherlock – Chicago and Kansas City
Minister of State for Training and Skills Ciaran Cannon – Romania
Minister of State Alan Kelly – Western Australia
Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport Alex White – Russia
Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine Tom Hayes – Norway
Minister of State for European Affairs Paschal Donohoe – Belgium and Luxembourg
By Jane Walsh
Irish Network USA held their first national Board meeting this past weekend in the nation’s capital, kicked off by a reception hosted by Ireland’s Ambassador to the U.S., Anne Anderson.
Highlighting the reception was Ambassador Anderson’s announcement that Irish Network USA was awarded a grant to assist IN-USA in meeting its mission of promoting business, cultural and social ties between the two nations.
Ambassador Anderson welcomed members from across the US and emphasized the support of Irish Government for the mission of IN-USA, “I was delighted to host the IN-USA delegates at a reception at the Irish Embassy in Washington D.C. at the beginning of their weekend-long meeting. The Irish Government is strongly supportive of the development of IN-USA and the expansion of Irish Network chapters across the US. A concrete reflection of that support was a substantial grant, approved by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, from the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme”.
“This national board meeting started a new and exciting chapter for Irish Network USA,” stated Steve Lenox, Co-President. “The support of Ambassador Anderson and her team, the enthusiasm and growing success of our member chapters, and the seemingly non-stop calls from Irish and Irish American leaders in cities across the US are all coming together at the right time to ensure that 2014 is our biggest year yet!”
IN-DC President Brid Ryan, “IN-DC was honored to act as host city for the IN-USA board meeting this weekend. I was personally struck by the individual and collective ambition of our members to reach out and engage with the Irish diaspora and friends of Ireland across the United States. Our continued support from the Department of Foreign Affairs, and specifically our receipt this year of a grant from the Emigrant Support Programme, will enhance our ability to cultivate lasting business, economic and social relationships.”
The two day Board Meeting, held at the Dupont Circle Hotel, included several guest speakers including John McCarthy, Future Civic Leaders; Pat Tully, Ireland Funds; Ciaran Staunton, Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform; and Simon Carswell, Irish Times. Those attending the meeting, representing thirteen chapters from across the U.S., participated in interactive discussions on issues ranging from digital strategies to effective fundraising techniques. The central theme that emerged throughout the weekend was using these new skills not just for networking, but to build a network.
The meeting ended with the announcement that Irish Network USA would hold an even larger Board meeting and conference in Seattle, Washington, September 12-14, 2014.
IN-USA currently has sixteen chapters throughout the U.S. including; Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, Nevada, New Orleans, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. Over the course of the next year IN-USA plans to grow to thirty chapters.