The Consul General of Ireland in Atlanta recently announced the appointment of Ireland’s first Honorary Consul for the state of North Carolina, Dr. John Young. Dr. Young has been a leading member of the Irish community in Charlotte for many years, having helped found the Irish Society of Charlotte in 1986 and served as its President. He is also the founder and chairman of the McLaughlin Young Group, a recognised leader in the area of human capital consulting. He is the author of “The Five Essential Leadership Questions: Living with Passion, Leading Through Trust.”

Consul General of Ireland for the US south-east, Paul Gleeson, said, “We are delighted to have been able to appoint John as our first Honorary Consul in North Carolina. And it is already clear, from events we’ve hosted in Charlotte and Raleigh to announce his appointment, that it is a move which has been welcomed by our Irish community in the state, as well as our American friends. There is huge potential to deepen Ireland’s business, education and tourism links with Ireland, building on the direct air connection between Charlotte and Dublin, courtesy of US Airways.”

Ireland’s Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD, said: “We are delighted to be appointing a first Honorary Consul in the state of North Carolina. The direct air connection between Charlotte and Dublin courtesy of US Airways provides huge opportunities in terms of boosting business and tourism connections between Ireland and North Carolina and we are confident John is the right man to help us in this endeavour.”

The Ambassador of Ireland to the United States, Anne Anderson, said: “Honorary Consuls play a critical role for Ireland in the US, helping to provide essential consular services to Irish citizens and to deliver our trade, investment, tourism and cultural messages to new and diverse audiences. John’s appointment enhances this network of dedicated and articulate advocates for Ireland and we are delighted to have him on board.”

On his appointment as Honorary Consul on a 3-year contract, Dr. John Young said: “It is an honour to have the opportunity to connect Ireland, where I was born, and North Carolina, where I have lived for the past 30 years. Both the country and the state have incredible natural beauty, a commitment to education and culture, and a progressive business environment. I have always called both home, and look forward to further developing and nurturing the relationship between Ireland and North Carolina.”

Dr. Young is a native of the Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland. He emigrated to the United States in 1971 and he and his wife, Mary Pat, have lived in North Carolina for 30 years. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.

The opening of the first Irish Consulate in Atlanta was the first new Consulate in the US established by Ireland since the 1930s. The states of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas have large populations and communities that claim Irish and Scots-Irish heritage. For 300 years and more, people from Ireland and of Irish and Scots-Irish descent have played a major role in the history and growth of this part of the United States.

Consul General Paul Gleeson said; “Through the Consulate, we hope to acknowledge and pay tribute to that tremendous work, just as we seek to building exciting and innovative relationships in business, science and culture for a new generation.”