The 12th annual Golden Bridges Conference and Awards will bring together political leaders, business figures, community representatives, and education providers from Boston and Northwest Ireland to further bind their relationship despite dealing with the COVID pandemic.

This year’s transatlantic conference, jointly coordinated by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council, will be hosted virtually from the historic Guildhall in Derry and will feature a range of speakers and delegates from the US and Ireland who will discuss issues including COVID and Brexit.

You can register for the free event, which begins at 8:30 am EST / 1:30 pm EST on November 20, here online.

The Golden Bridges Conference will give the US audience a unique insight into how those living and working in the Northwest Ireland border region of Derry, Strabane, and Donegal are collaborating to prepare for Brexit.

The challenges faced by the Northwest Ireland region in dealing with the current pandemic is expected to feature predominately at the conference with speakers from various community, cultural and commercial sectors from both sides of the Atlantic, taking part.

The honorary chairs for the 12th annual Golden Bridges Conference include John Donovan, Maureen Bennett, Sean Moynihan, Nuala Friel Wright, Eugene O’Flaherty, Martina Curtin, Sean Getchell, Nuala McGowan, and John Foley.

The program of events for November 20, which can be viewed here, will culminate with the awards presentation for the 2020 Golden Bridges honorees, who are:

  • US Congressman Brendan Boyle 
  • Kathy Savage, Recipient of the Dave Burke Award 
  • Steve Burke, Irish Cultural Centre 
  • Prof Christine Kinealy
  • Grace Cotter Regan, President Boston College High School 
  • Senator Nick Collins, Massachusetts State Senate 
  • Councilman Frank Baker, Boston City Council, 
  • Pádraic McLaughlin, Buncrana & Boston, GAA 
  • Mark Porter, Buncrana & Boston, Businessman, Director, Irish Pastoral Centre, Boston & Cancer Research Fundraiser Connemara Gaels, Boston
  • Joseph Burke, Deputy Secretary, International Business Development, Pennsylvania

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Cllr Brian Tierney is encouraging people in the United States with an interest in how Northwest Ireland is working collaboratively to prepare for the challenges of Brexit to sign up for the conference.

Tierney says: “The Golden Bridges Conference is always a key date in our business diary, providing an opportunity to forge valuable business connections and augment the strong network of partnerships we have established over the years.

“While this year's event will occupy a different stage, it will still provide a vital chance to amplify the voice of the North West business community and connect with a wider online audience at this very challenging time. 

“It will provide us with a unique opportunity to highlight the positive work being done in both regions in the face of these shared economic challenges. The world has been rocked in recent months and the repercussions are felt on a global level and I believe the Golden Bridges will offer us a valuable insight into how we can progress our ambitions for the NW region.

"By working in tandem with our transatlantic partners and providing a forum to share learnings, I believe we can continue to thrive in the current uncertain economic climate."

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Rena Donaghey, said that in light of the challenges facing both regions, the Golden Bridges event is more important than ever. 

"This year's Golden Bridges will showcase the very best of the Northwest region to an audience of influential Irish American business and political leaders. In the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by Covid-19 and Brexit, the region has spearheaded a strong and unique strategic partnership, demonstrating unity and co-operation across many areas. 

“We have seen the extraordinary resilience of our businesses and community leaders in recent months in the Northwest and Golden Bridges will serve as a platform to showcase these initiatives and profile our regional offering to delegates across the Atlantic. It is more important than ever that we extend our connections to incite new opportunities for regional economic development."

Golden Bridges aims to promote partnerships between Northwest Ireland and Boston, Massachusetts, and also to highlight various community, business, and education initiatives in the two regions by bringing together influential business and political leaders.

You can sign up for free to attend the virtual 12th annual Golden Bridges Conference and Awards on Friday, November 20 here online.