Ireland’s Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, has announced that Ireland will be opening a Consulate General of Ireland in Austin, Texas later this year.
It will be the seventh Irish diplomatic mission in the US. Currently, Ireland has consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. It also has an embassy in Washington. D.C.
The announcement is welcome news for the Irish in the southwestern states who will now have more local representation and resources. They are currently served by the consulate in Chicago.
Enterprise Ireland, the Irish Government organization responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets, opened an office in Austin in December 2013. A press release from the Irish Embassy in Washington states that, “The two new offices will work closely together to promote Ireland’s economic and other interests in Texas and other Southern U.S. states." Enterprise Ireland also has offices in New York, Boston and Silicon Valley.
Anne Anderson, Ireland’s Ambassador to the US, praised the decision, particularly in light of Austin’s importance in the tech industry. Austin is home to a vibrant startup scene and is home to the annual South by South West conference and festival.
"As a booming regional tech hub, Austin is the perfect location to build on Ireland’s already strong business presence in Texas and the wider Southern U.S. region. Ireland’s standing as one of the leading locations in the world for technology companies means that Austin is an ideal base from which to develop our economic and investment links.
“The opening of a Consulate will also enable us to engage more closely with the large and active Irish community in Texas and the surrounding region.”