Pittsburgh’s contributions to the peace process North and South was recognized on Thursday July 11, at an event hosted by the Ireland Institute of Pittsburgh.
Irish Consul General Noel Kilkenny and Northern Ireland Bureau Director Norman Houston attended the event that recognized the contribution of the Pittsburgh community towards achieving peace in Northern Ireland.
Steelers President Art Rooney was on hand to welcome Noel Kilkenny and Norman Houston, along with County Executive, Rich Fitzgerald, Congressman Mike Doyle and Tim Murphy, Ireland Institute Board Chairman, Dan Gallagher, and several other local business and Irish community leaders.
Since 1989 the Institute has conducted training programs for over 2000 young unemployed people, Catholic and Protestant, from Ireland through the International Fund for Ireland’s Wider Horizons Program which will close at the end of 2014.
The Institute recognized Pittsburgh’s impact on hundreds of Wider Horizons alumni. Pittsburgh area companies and families have been instrumental to the success of these programs, opening their doors to welcome and teach these young people, improving their skills for work and for life. As a result of the program hundreds of young people returned to Ireland with the confidence and capacity to pursue their career interests, start families, and contribute to their communities.
Graduates from the 71st and final IFI program, and other Wider Horizons alumni were on hand to share their experiences and express their gratitude on behalf of the hundreds who, in the past 24 years, temporarily called Pittsburgh ‘Home.’
“Without our host families and work mentors, these programs would not have occurred,” said Institute President, James Lamb.