As part of the 1916 Rising centenary commemorations, a delegation of mayors and community leaders from the U.S. have been invited to participate in the Ireland US Sister City Summit. The delegates will come from cities that have a twinning agreement with cities or towns in Ireland.

The summit, which was launched last week, will take place in Dublin on April 22 and 23, 2016. The event will be jointly hosted by Dublin and its sister city——San Jose, California.

There are over 60 twinning links or sister city agreements between locations in Ireland and locations in the U.S., according to a press release. 

Peter Finnegan, Director, International Relations, Dublin City Council said: “The Summit will acknowledge and celebrate the unique relationship between the USA and the Island of Ireland which has found particular expression through investment, business and innovation, as well as the Irish peace process. It is a fantastic opportunity to promote  Ireland as a location for investment, study, tourism and business events, as well as building new partnerships between business, higher education, youth and civic leaders.”

The theme of the summit will be ‘Independence and Interdependence’, which will celebrate the shared histories between the two countries and recognize the importance of these shared histories in leading to a smart future. 

In 2016, San Jose and Dublin will celebrate 30 years of a mutually beneficial twinning relationship. Next year will also mark the 60th Anniversary of the establishment by President Eisenhower of Sister Cities International as an promoter of Citizen Diplomacy. 

Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath Críona Ní Dhálaigh commented: "1916 was a pivotal moment in the birth of modern Ireland. This Summit will celebrate that moment by acknowledging and redefining the unique relationship between the USA and the Island of Ireland. That relationship is founded in common cultural links shared economic opportunity and a recognition of the importance of respecting the diverse traditions on this island and of this world. De réir a chéile a thógtar na caisleáin."

The initiative is supported by the Senator Kerry and the State Department in the USA, the Irish Government, the US Ambassador to Ireland and the Irish Ambassador to the US.

Twin sisters Sarah and Gemma Keenan (aged 13 from Donaghmede) with Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath, Cllr Críona Ní Dhálaigh and Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Arder Carson outside the Mansion House on September 22 to launch the Ireland US Sister City Summit, whFennell Photography