28 February 2018
By Elaine Murphy
The Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald and the Lady Mayoress, Georgina Fitzgerald are in the US this week on a visit aimed at improving trade and tourist links between the US East Coast and Cork.
Norwegian Airlines began flying from Cork-Providence last year and the Lord Mayor is eager that the economic and tourist potential of the long-awaited transatlantic links to Rhode Island are maximized.
Traveling with Deputy Chief Executive, Ruth Buckley, the Lord Mayor is meeting with representatives of Newport Tourism and separately with Newport Mayor, Harry Winthrop and members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, a vibrant Irish American organization in Newport.
En route to Boston, he will have meetings with Wisetek in Franklin, Massachusetts which employs 200 people at Dublin Hill, Carrigtwohill and Glanmire in Cork and at Dell/EMC which employs 5000 people in Ireland, with most of these based in Cork.In Boston, he will meet with the Irish American Mayor, Marty Walsh and visit Fr Dan Finn who runs the Irish Pastoral Centre in Dorchester.
Fr Finn, from Kanturk, is highly regarded for his work with the undocumented Irish in the US. Once a week, the emigrant’s group, The Knights and Ladies of St Finbarr Cork Club also meet at the Pastoral Centre.
The Lord Mayor said: “One of the highlights of the week is a lunch at Boston College in our honour where we will discuss Cork City Council and UCC plans to hold an annual Tip O’Neill lecture/symposium next year and where we will meet with leading Irish Studies academics and visit the Tip O’Neill archive”.
“ Everywhere we go this week, we have been meeting with the Irish diaspora as it is vital that these global links, that in some cases go back generations, are nurtured”.
The Lord Mayor will also meet with members of Tip O’Neill’s family during his stay in Boston and with the Boston Consul General, Fionnuala Quinlan at Boston College.
In New York, he will meet with Ireland’s Ambassador to the UN, Geraldine Byrne Nessan. The Lord Mayor has made the promotion of the Healthy Cities agenda and lifelong learning policies key parts of his mayoralty. Both are also tied to the UN sustainable development goals that Ireland is signed up to.
On Saturday, the Lord Mayor has been asked to participate in the Queen’s County Saint Patrick’s Parade at Rockaway Beach, New York. He will also attend the County Cork Association of New York Annual St Patrick’s Day Dinner Dance that evening in Queens.