Global Irish Economic Forum to bring diaspora together
I am delighted to have this opportunity to tell you about an important initiative of the government of Ireland to further enhance Ireland’s relationship with Irish America and the global Irish family.
Earlier this year, following a submission I presented to the government, it decided to host a Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin on 18-20 September.
The forum will bring together, for the first time, the most influential members of the Irish community worldwide with a record of high achievement in business and culture, as well as individuals with a strong business connection to Ireland.
The government has a long record of engagement with our global community and has worked very successfully with them in the past, particularly in relation to the peace process. Over the past six years alone the Emigrant Support Program, run by my department, has provided some €60 million in funding to Irish Diaspora organizations and projects.
Invitations to the forum were issued in April by way of a personal letter from the taoiseach (prime minister) to individuals identified by our network of embassies around the world.
The response to the taoiseach’s letter has been hugely encouraging, with over 180 people indicating their intention to participate. It is important to keep in mind that they will be traveling here at their own expense and giving freely of their time and expertise.
At this stage, it is expected that the attendance will include representatives from the U.S., Britain, Australia, New Zealand, China, Argentina, Europe and the Middle East.
There will be a very strong U.S.-based contingent, including the American Ireland Fund’s Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Bloomberg TV’s Margaret Brennan, Kip Condron (president and CEO of AXA Financial Inc.), Irial Finan (executive vice president of Coca-Cola), Tara McCabe (vice president of Morgan Stanley), Brendan McDonagh (CEO of HSBC North America) Tom Moran (president, chairman and CEO of Mutual of America), Denis Swanson (president of FOX Television Stations Inc.) and Craig Barrett (retired CEO and chairman of Intel).
They will be joined at Farmleigh by the taoiseach and members of the Cabinet. The leaders of the opposition have also been invited, as have a number of leading Irish-based business figures.
A website for the event has also now been launched -- www.globalirishforum.ie. This site will include detailed information for those participating at Farmleigh and about the event itself.
It’s worth checking the website regularly as it will also carry links to streamed coverage of the keynote speech by the taoiseach and a debate on links with the diaspora, as well as reactions and interviews with participants.
The forum is first and foremost a national effort of outreach to and engagement with our diaspora. Its primary purpose will be to explore how the Irish, at home and abroad, and those with a strong interest in Ireland, can work together and contribute to our overall efforts at economic recovery.
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