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Minister Flanagan to represent the Government at historic NYC St Patrick’s Day Parade



This year the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, will represent the Government at a series of events in New York City to mark St. Patrick’s Day. This includes an historic St. Patrick’s Day Parade which will include Irish LGBT groups marching behind their own banners for the first time. Governor of New York State, Andrew Cuomo, and the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, will also march in this year’s parade.

Minister Flanagan stated:

“In Ireland we have achieved great strides forward in creating a more inclusive and welcoming country for members for our LBGT community, the high point of which was the same sex marriage referendum in 2015. I am pleased to see a very inclusive parade this year as I have met many of those involved and urged progress on this issue on my very first visit to New York as Minister.

“I am also proud to march with the Irish Unit which comprises our soldiers and peacekeepers and reflects the enormous contributions of Irish troops and police to peacekeeping. It is also reflective of the huge contribution that Irish emigrants have made to public services in New York City and across the United States.”

The Minister’s programme will include a range of high-level political and Irish community engagements, in addition to business-focussed events.

“It is clear that the 2016 Centenary Year has really captured the public and political imagination in New York City and there is huge enthusiasm for the Global and Diaspora Programme of events which I launched in January. The strong links between the leaders of the Rising and New York City means that the Centenary resonates strongly here among the Irish community. Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have all warmly embraced this special year for Ireland. I look forward to engaging with community and business leaders during my visit. Ireland has a very positive story to tell and I will be encouraging our American friends to visit us in the coming months.”

Minister Flanagan will address guests at the Mayor’s St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast before attending the traditional special service in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He will march in the Parade with the Irish Unit which comprises Finner Camp, 28th Infantry Battalion, E Company Reservists and a contingent from An Garda Síochána. He will attend a series of community receptions.

Reflecting New York’s importance as the third largest economy in the United States, Minister Flanagan will also undertake business engagements organised by the State agencies, including Enterprise Ireland and IDA.

Before travelling to NYC, Minister Flanagan will briefly visit Washington DC where he will address a gathering of approximately 350 key business and economic contacts including key clients of IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland. In Washington DC, he will present two new Science Foundation Ireland St. Patrick’s Day Science Medals and announce two new Science Foundation Ireland and National Science Foundation US-Ireland Centre-to-Centre partnerships.

Press Office
15 March 2016

Note to Editors:

• The New York St Patrick’s Day Parade is often said to be the oldest and largest in the world, with over 200,000 marchers and over 2 million spectators. The first parade was on March 17, 1762 — fourteen years before the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Around 1851 the “Irish” 69th Regiment began to lead the marchers and this remains the case today. The Parade is usually held on March 17th. However, if the 17th falls on a Sunday, then the Parade is held on March 16th instead. Floats are not allowed in the parade, which focuses instead on marching groups and bands.
• Andrew Mark Cuomo is the Governor of New York. A member of the Democratic Party, Cuomo was elected in 2010, holding the same position his father, Mario Cuomo, held from 1983 to 1994. During his first term, New York legalized same-sex marriage and toughened gun controls. Cuomo was elected to a second term in 2014.
• Bill de Blasio was elected Mayor of New York City in 2013. De Blasio is the first Democratic mayor of the city since David Dinkins was in office from 1990 to 1993. He ran for mayor as someone concerned with the stark level of economic inequality in New York, which he called the "tale of two cities" and has sought to pass policies to address such inequalities during his term in office.
• The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal is awarded annually to distinguished Irish scientists, engineers and/or technology leaders living and working in the USA. The medal recognises individuals who are not only outstanding in their fields of expertise but who also have demonstrably assisted researchers in Ireland in either academia or industry or who have made significant contributions to developing the research ecosystem in Ireland. The medal was first awarded in 2014.
• New York State has 2.5 million people claiming Irish ancestry, and is a world leader in the tech, media, financial, educational and pharma industries. Recent IDA jobs announcements from the tri-state (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) area have included: Prudential (New Jersey) 330 Jobs, Squarespace (New York City) 175 jobs, Pond 5 (New York) 30 Jobs, Smartling (New York City) 30 jobs.

• Minister Flanagan’s programme includes:
Washington 15-16 March
Ambassador Anderson’s St. Patrick’s Day reception
Presentation of Science Foundation Ireland St. Patrick’s Day Science Medals at SFI event
Business leaders lunch including clients of IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia, Tourism Ireland, SFI and the Marine Institute
Meet with Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and SFI clients
New York 17-18 March
Mayor de Blasio’s St. Patrick’s Day breakfast
Traditional St. Patrick's Day Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
Irish Chamber of Commerce USA breakfast
St. Patrick’s Day parade - March with Irish Unit (Finner Camp, 28th Infantry Battalion, E Company Reservists and contingent from An Garda Síochána)
Media interview NBC
Knights of St. Patrick lunch
St. Patrick’s Day reception at Consulate of Ireland
Enterprise Ireland and IDA client dinner
Visit to 9/11 memorial and museum
Media interview radio
Meetings with County Associations