Tánaiste Micheál Martin, who is in New York City this week for the UN General Assembly, addressed a gathering of Irish American community leaders at the Consulate General of Ireland New York on Monday afternoon, September 18.
"The heart of Irish America continues to beat strongly here in New York," the Tánaiste said at the start of his remarks.
While his brief address on Monday spanned a range of topics, the Tánaiste did encourage those present, especially those who are in receipt of Emigrant Support Programme funding, to be actively welcoming of Ireland's "diverse" diaspora.
"I hope that those of you in the room who have received an Emigrant Support Programme grant will be at the forefront of acknowledging the past, preserving our heritage, and honoring our traditions and our culture," Martin told the gathering.
"And we also want to see our emigrant networks embrace the diversity and vibrancy of the present and the future.
"We will continue to support networks that make our community open and inclusive to all.
"We must also ensure that our organizations and events are actively welcoming to all of those in our diverse diaspora who feel Irish, whether through descent or affiliation."
The Tánaiste's comments were met with applause, as was his announcement that Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs recently allocated 1.5 million in support for over 40 organizations in New York and neighboring regions.
Delighted to meet members of the Irish community this afternoon during a visit to @IrelandinNY.
The heart of Irish America continues to beat strongly here in New York. pic.twitter.com/zlyV4duW9W— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) September 18, 2023
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Tánaiste touched on a range of topics, including the success of the Irish in America, the success of Irish Americans, as well as the "two-way nature" of Irish and American investment.
After making special mention of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, the Tánaiste lamented the continuing absence of a functioning government in Northern Ireland and encouraged Irish Americans to continue working to preserve the gains of the Good Friday Agreement.
Concluding his remarks, the Tánaiste said: "The 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement this year has been an opportunity to celebrate, to commemorate, and to reflect.
"And when we look forward as a people on the work that needs to be done over the next quarter of a century, we look also to our friends and our neighbors, both near and afar.
"As President Biden said during his address to the House of the Oireachtas, or Parliament, he said, we must never forget that peace, even as it has become a lived reality for an entire generation of young people, is precious.
"It still needs its champions. It still needs to be nurtured."
The Tánaiste appealed to attendees: "I ask all of you in this room, leaders in your chosen field, and representatives of your community to continue to bring this work forward, to help to nurture reconciliation in your own way.
"More widely, to share and to pass on your passion and enthusiasm for our joint heritage to the next generation, and to use this joint understanding to support our peace process."