A large contingent from Shannon Airport Police Fire Service marched in step with their American counterparts in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston, on March 20,

An team of 18 Police Fire Service men and women represented Shannon Airport and attended a number of events around the parade to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. The last time the group visited Boston was before 9/11, making this trip all the more significant and important.

Shannon and the West of Ireland has a strong connection with Boston going back centuries. They have shared a history of emigration through the Famine times to recent decades with economic turbulence. Generations of visitors from both countries going back and forth through Shannon Airport has led to a strong relationship between both regions.

Brian Casey, Chairman of the Airport Fire Police St. Patrick’s Day Committee said, “Our group used to travel to Boston and other cities annually and our members built up great relationships with our US counterparts. Sadly two members of the Port Authority Police Department with whom we had a close relationship, Tommy O’ Gorman and Bruce Reynolds, tragically died in the response to September 11. We have photos of them in our fire station at Shannon - we shared the overwhelming sadness of the events of September 11 and we commemorate our fallen Boston brothers in Shannon.”

Casey said, “This was a huge honor for our guys. We got to meet the many thousands of fire fighters and police from all over the US and celebrate with Irish men and women who left our part of the country for a new life in Boston.”

It is a lot easier today to make frequent trips to Shannon and the West of Ireland from Boston. Year round daily non-stop service from Boston to Shannon provide a direct and easy link to Shannon for the residents of Boston and the North East of the US. When Shannon Airport management visited Mayor Marty Walsh, Mayor Walsh was delighted with the direct daily route and said that because his family resides in the western part of the country, nearly every trip he has made to Ireland has been through Shannon Airport.

There has been a steady increase of passengers through Shannon airport and the route is becoming more and more popular for US tourists who want to travel to Ireland with a hassle free and easy trip made all the better with pre-clearance for US customs at Shannon. Last year saw a record number of US tourists to Ireland.

Economic links between both countries and regions are also strong as a result of the easy access to Ireland through Shannon airport. Shannon is increasing its drive towards attracting inward investment into the region and offers substantial business benefits to potential investors and New England-based firms.

The St Patrick’s Day celebrations were a reminder to many people of the unique relationship between Shannon and Boston and the 18-strong group from the Airport Fire and Police were delighted to share in the spirit of that relationship when they visited Boston.

Casey added, “We marched in full uniform with the Shannon flag, and we were delighted to promote our airport. We continue to welcome our fellow service people to Shannon each year, with exchange visits with members of US crews coming over here for holidays and touring up and down the West of Ireland through Shannon.”

The entire group were invited to attend the Boston College Eagles Football Team Practice and meet the team and Head Coach Steve Addazio. They were also guests of Senator Linda Dorcena Forry’s South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast before going on to march in the parade.