Minister Flanagan to launch USA Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme05 January 2016
-Visit to New York includes meetings with Irish-American community leaders and politicians on Northern Ireland
-Engagement with Irish Business Community & Tech Innovators
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Charlie Flanagan TD, will today (Wednesday) begin a short visit to New York to formally launch the ambitious 1916 Rising Commemoration Programme of events that will take place across the United States this year; the New York programme will also be launched. The Minister’s visit will include engagements with community, political and business groups.
Speaking ahead of his visit, Minister Flanagan stated:
“The special relationship between Ireland and the United States is long and enduring. America is the only foreign country specifically referenced in the 1916 Proclamation and, as such, merits special attention in this important centenary year.
“An exciting programme of political, economic and cultural events will take place right across the United States throughout 2016 and I hope that Ireland’s diaspora and friends in the United States will accept this invitation to take part in this year’s programme of commemorative events.”
Minister Flanagan will also launch the 2016 Programme for New York and the surrounding region. Speaking ahead of the two programme launches, he said:
“No other city, and no country, played a more important role in the Easter Rising and the subsequent journey for a lasting and just peace settlement in Northern Ireland, than the United States. Over 70 commemoration events will take place this year in the New York metropolitan region.”
While in New York, Minister Flanagan will brief Irish American community leaders on recent developments in Northern Ireland, including the Fresh Start Agreement.
Minister Flanagan said:
“The United States has played an important role in support of our Peace Process and I am pleased to have the opportunity over the coming days to brief some of the Irish diaspora and friends of Ireland on the recent progress we made in Northern Ireland with the Fresh Start Agreement and to outline the work that lies ahead in implementing the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements.”
Amongst Minister Flanagan’s other engagements will be a discussion with the Digital Irish organisation regarding its innovative approach to tech investment. He will address younger members of the Irish and Irish American community at a gathering hosted by the Irish Consulate. Minister Flanagan said:
“Since their establishment in 2013, Digital Irish have assisted 75 Irish startups to move into the US market. I look forward to hearing more about their plans to expand their activities and assist even more Irish companies to develop a US presence.”
The Minister will also address the Irish Caucus of New York City Council at a gathering hosted by the Speaker of New York City Council, Ms. Melissa Mark-Viverito.
6 January 2016