Brian McGlinchey, a government affairs professional, will be appointed as Ireland’s Honorary Consul to the State of Delaware in a ceremony in Wilmington, Delaware today, December 3.
McGlinchey's appointment is "a historic first, underlining growing Ireland-Delaware bonds," the Consulate General of Ireland said in a statement.
Speaking ahead of Friday's ceremony, McGlinchey said: “As the proud son of an immigrant, and citizen of Ireland, I am humbled by this appointment.
“The consular responsibilities are significant and I’m grateful for the Irish government’s confidence in me to perform them.
“I look forward to expanding support for the Irish diaspora and strengthening relationships between our State, the greater Delaware Valley extensive Irish network, and Ireland.”
The Consulate General of Ireland says that once opened, the Honorary Consul’s office in Wilmington will support Ireland’s Embassy in Washington, D.C. and Consulate General in New York in facilitating business and official visits from Ireland, providing information on Ireland and consular guidance and assistance to Irish citizens in Delaware.
The decision to appoint McGlinchey to the new role was made by Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs last month, in recognition of McGlinchey’s outstanding qualifications, experience, and engagement with Irish issues.
Friday's ceremony will be attended by Dan Mulhall, Ireland's Ambassador to the US Dan Mulhall, Helena Nolan, Consul General of Ireland in New York with responsibility for Delaware, as well as Mike Purzycki, the mayor of Wilmington.
At the ceremony, Ambassador Mulhall will present McGlinchey with the official Irish flag and escutcheon - an ornamental shield bearing an image of the harp, Ireland’s official emblem – for his new office, before delivering remarks.
Ambassador Mulhall said ahead of Friday's ceremony: “The contribution made by our Honorary Consuls around the world is a vital part of Ireland’s diplomatic engagement.
"Brian’s appointment highlights the great potential we see to deepen and broaden our engagement in Delaware. I know that Brian will be a tremendous advocate for Ireland and a source of support for Irish citizens and Irish businesses active in Delaware.”
Consul General Nolan said: “Brian’s expertise and commitment to public service have already been of enormous benefit to Ireland and Delaware for many years. I am delighted that he is joining us in this new exciting role in the years to come and my team and I look forward to working with him.”
According to the Consulate General of Ireland, more than 14% of Delaware’s inhabitants claim Irish heritage, but that number rises to more than 45% among New Castle County’s 180,000 residents. Delaware enjoys an active and engaged community promoting Irish Culture and Heritage; including the Irish Culture Club of Delaware, the New Castle County Irish Society, and the St. Patrick’s Society.
About Brian McGlinchey
McGlinchey was prominently involved in the ‘Joe Biden for President’ campaign; he served as National Fundraising Co-Chair, Co-Chair of the home state ‘Delaware for Joe’, and Co-Chair of ‘Irish Americans for Biden’. He has almost a quarter of a century of experience in federal, state, and local affairs in the mid-Atlantic. He is currently Senior Advisor at law firm McCarter & English - he is a government affairs professional and is not licensed to practice law.
Prior to his roles in the 2020 presidential campaign, McGlinchey served as the Projects Director for then-United States Senator Biden. He also spent time as Director of the Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust, a progressive labor-management fund, where he forged economic policies that promoted growth in the construction industry in the eastern region.
He is the Past-President and founding member of Delawareans For Economic and Environmental Development (DEED), a coalition of labor, civic, environmental, and business leaders which champion balanced policies that expand the tax base and create private-sector jobs while enhancing and protecting the environment.
What are Honorary Consuls?
According to the Consulate General of Ireland, Honorary Consuls are an important element of the Irish State’s global engagement. The functions, privileges, and immunities of honorary consuls are set out in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963. The Diplomatic and Consular Relations Act, 1967 gave the Convention the force of law in the State and enabled Ireland to ratify the Convention the same year.
Ireland has an extensive network of approximately 100 honorary consuls or honorary consuls general throughout the world. While the roles and functions performed by honorary consuls can vary, they are generally appointed to provide consular services and assistance to Irish citizens in a specific geographical area, particularly in countries where there is no resident mission, and they also assist with trade promotion, in consultation with their supervising mission. The Honorary Consul in Wilmington is supervised by the Consulate General of Ireland, New York.
After today's ceremony in Wilmington, there will be 12 honorary Irish consuls in the US, including Charleston, Charlotte, Denver, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Orlando, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Diego, and Seattle.