16/03/2015 : Minister Humphreys in New York for a programme of trade, investment, political and Irish Diaspora engagements
Minister to meet Hillary Clinton & Mayor Bill de Blasio
Monday, 16th March 2015—The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys T.D., has travelled to New York for a programme of trade, investment, political and Diaspora-focussed engagements. Minister Humphreys is representing the Irish Government in place of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan T.D., who had to return to Ireland following a family bereavement.
Minister Humphreys will today meet with former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, a long standing friend of Ireland, who is to be honoured by induction into the Irish-America Hall of Fame at an Irish America magazine event. Another inductee will be Pat Quinn, the creator of the Ice Bucket Challenge, which has raised millions for research into ALS.
Minister Humphreys will be hosted by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a breakfast at Gracie Mansion and will meet many senior business and Irish community leaders at various events during her visit.
Minister Humphreys programme commences with a breakfast hosted by the Irish Consulate, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland with senior business leaders of financial services sector companies including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, Citi, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo. She will also address the Ireland-US Council and the Irish Chamber of Commerce USA.
At all of her events in New York Minister Humphreys will be emphasising the growing economic ties between Ireland and the US and highlighting important new initiatives, such as the new financial services strategy launched last week, which will further strengthen that relationship.
She will have a wide range of media contacts to promote Ireland, including being guest of honour at a 100 person lunch with business and financial journalists from Bloomberg, Financial Times, Forbes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere.
Reflecting the importance of the Diaspora she will hold meetings with Irish community leaders to discuss issues including immigration reform, Northern Ireland and the new Diaspora strategy launched earlier this month. She will march in the largest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world down Fifth Avenue, attend mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral and speak at a reception in honour of the Jerry McCabe fellowship programme.
Minister Humphreys will visit the Irish Arts Centre, which provides a dynamic platform for Irish artists and performers in New York, and the American Irish Historical Association, with whom the Irish government is working closely on events around Ireland 2016, the Government’s initiative to commemorate the Centenary of the 1916 Rising. The Minister will also launch a Yeats playwriting competition in honour of the 150th anniversary of Yeats’s birth.
Speaking about her visit, Minister Humphreys said:
“I’m very pleased and privileged to be visiting New York in place of Minister Flanagan. New York is one of the great cities of the world, and also one which has proven to be a welcoming home for the Irish Diaspora over the years.
“There is a great affinity between the people of Ireland and the USA, and this is reflected in the strength of the Irish-US economic relationship, which has brought 130,000 jobs to Ireland and which had enormous potential for even greater growth in the future.
“The recent opening up of the US beef market to Ireland, the first EU country to be allowed back in, is an example of new opportunities being pursued. The new financial services strategy is another example, where we are seeking to leverage our advantages in a particular area to promote jobs and growth.
“I am delighted to the see the strength of the Irish cultural scene in New York. While in New York, I will be taking the opportunity to promote Ireland 2016, the Government’s initiative to commemorate the 1916 Rising, reflect on our achievements over the last 100 years and look towards the next 100 years. There is enormous enthusiasm in the USA for Irish culture and heritage and I want to capture this enthusiasm in 2016. Through our Embassy network we will be hosting a series of exhibitions, debates and other cultural initiatives to ensure Ireland 2016 is a truly global event.”