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Minister Flanagan Engages with Irish Community in New York


Enterprise Ireland Financial Technologies Event Also On The Agenda

As part of his programme while in New York this week on UN business, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., is today visiting the New York Irish Center (NYIC) and the city’s Irish Hunger Memorial. Other engagements on Minister Flanagan’s agenda in New York over the days ahead will include an Enterprise Ireland financial technologies event and a discussion with Irish community leaders on latest developments in Northern Ireland.

Speaking ahead of his visit to the NYIC, on which he will be accompanied by Ambassador Anne Anderson and Consul General Barbara Jones, Minister Flanagan said:

“I look forward to meeting those who contribute so much to the Center’s valuable work with the Irish community here in New York which the Government was pleased to be able to support with a grant of $150,000 this year through our Emigrant Support Programme.

"The centre is undertaking valuable work with Pieta House, providing support to those at risk of suicide and I am pleased to have an opportunity too hear about this important initiative."

During his visit to the Irish Hunger Memorial in New York’s Battery Park, Minister Flanagan will meet with Dr John Lahey, President of Quinnipiac University, and Irish-American broadcaster Adrian Flannelly. Welcoming plans for a strong partnership between Quinnipiac’s Great Hunger Museum and the Irish Hunger Memorial, the Minister said:

“This Memorial is a credit to all those who have worked on its development since the year 2000, including the Governor and State of New York and the Battery Park City Authority. It is a fitting tribute to the tragedy of the Irish Famine and to the refuge that many Irish people found here during that era.”

On Tuesday (September 29), Minister Flanagan will address an audience of 150 international financial services professionals at a joint Enterprise Ireland/BNY Mellon showcase event. Six Irish companies will take part in the event, which will expose these companies to the key influencers, investors and buyers of payment technology in the North American market, while also helping to create awareness of Ireland’s strengths in this sector. In advance of the event, Minister Flanagan said:

“Through Enterprise Ireland and our diplomatic missions across the United States, the Government is giving every possible support to dynamic Irish companies as they pursue business partnerships in North America. Ireland and our entrepreneurs represent excellent business partners thanks to our position as one of Europe’s great centres for the financial services and tech sectors. As a valued partner and major investor in Ireland, BNY Mellon understands and appreciates this.”

On Thursday (October 1), ahead of his address to the UN General Assembly, Minister Flanagan will meet over a working breakfast with leading figures from the Irish-American community in New York. The Minister will brief the gathering on latest developments in Northern Ireland and the upcoming 2016 commemorations. Views will also exchanged on other topics of interest, including the prospects for U.S. immigration reform.

Directly following the breakfast, Minister Flanagan will present a W.B. Yeats Emerging Playwright Competition award and launch the inaugural Frank McCourt Scholarship, both initiatives supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Speaking ahead of the working breakfast meeting, Minister Flanagan said:

“With important work continuing in Northern Ireland, and as our preparations for commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising remain underway, I look forward to a substantive exchange with this cross-section of dynamic leaders from many areas of Irish-American life. Their work for Ireland and Irish America continues to be greatly valued by the Government and people back home in Ireland.”

Also on Thursday, the Minister will visit the New York Irish Arts Center and receive an update on its redevelopment, which has been supported through a grant of $1,250,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support Programme earlier this year. Minister Flanagan commented:

“The Irish Arts Center in New York is central to Irish culture in the United States. The significance of having an Irish flagship presence here is clear. The Center has provided a spring board to international stardom for many Irish acts and its redevelopment will enable it to expand its important role in this regard.”


Press Office

27 September 2015


Notes to Editors

  • Since 1984, the Irish Government’s Emigrant Support Programme has given financial assistance to voluntary agencies providing advice and welfare services to Irish emigrants overseas. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade working through Ireland’s Embassy Network coordinates the provision of support to communities abroad and administers the Programme.
  • The main focus for funding under the Emigrant Support Programme remains the frontline welfare service providers that support the elderly, and other vulnerable Irish emigrants. In more recent years the Programme has also recognised the importance of strong and active Irish communities more generally through the funding of projects that foster a sense of community, promoting vibrant networks and a sense of Irishness among the Irish abroad.
  • The 6 Irish companies taking part in the Enterprise Ireland Fintech event on September 29 are Acquirer Systems, Continuum Commerce, Daon, Fexco, SysnetGlobal Solutions and Trustev.
  • The Irish Famine memorial, which is intended to raise public awareness of the events that led to the Great Irish Hunger and Migration of 1845-1852, was inaugurated on July 16th 2002 by President McAleese in the presence of then New York Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
  • The W.B. Yeats Emerging Playwright Competition has been organised by the Origin Theatre Company, working with the Consulate General of Ireland in New York and with the support of the Abbey Theatre.
  • The Frank McCourt Scholarship, administered by the University of Limerick and New York University, will be awarded in December 2015 to an emerging Irish writer to enable the recipient to attend the inaugural Frank McCourt Summer School at NYU in 2016.