Governor of New York Kathy Hochul engaged in several high-level meetings in Dublin on Friday, May 17 as part of her visit to Ireland.

Hochul, the granddaughter of immigrants from Co Kerry, arrived in Ireland on Thursday night after having engagements in Italy and The Vatican.

In their discussion in Dublin on Friday, Hochul and Taoiseach Simon Harris discussed "shared challenges and opportunities, including tackling the housing crisis and growing the New York and Ireland economies."

In a post on X afterward, Hochul said: "New York and Ireland share a special bond. I'm proud that we're continuing to strengthen it."

Thank you to @SimonHarrisTD for the warm welcome to Dublin!

Today we discussed shared challenges & opportunities, including tackling the housing crisis & growing our economies.

New York & Ireland share a special bond. I'm proud that we’re continuing to strengthen it.

— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) May 17, 2024

The Governor also met with the Lord Mayor of Dublin Daithí de Róiste on Friday "to discuss their shared commitment to economic investment in AI and clean energy."

Hochul visited the Oireachtas to meet with leaders and have a tour of the Irish Parliament building.

New York and Dublin are working together on our shared priorities to build more housing, address mental health concerns, and create safer and more affordable communities.

Thank you, @lordmayordublin, for a productive discussion.

— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) May 17, 2024

Later on Friday, Hochul formally signed a memorandum of understanding announcing a new partnership between Empire State Development, Ireland’s Guinness Enterprise Centre, and Dublin-based Furthr "to foster innovation and collaboration between businesses in New York and Ireland."

Hochul said: “New York State and Ireland are united in the belief that our economies are stronger, more resilient, and more innovative when we work together.

“This agreement between New York, the Guinness Enterprise Centre, and Furthr creates real opportunities for startups and early-stage businesses on both sides of the Atlantic to grow and innovate, and I look forward to advancing this partnership with our Irish counterparts that will help us build a vibrant and more modern economy.”

NEW: We are partnering with @GECinD8 & @Furthr_ie to help entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic make their dreams a reality!

Today we signed an MOU to encourage collaboration between companies in New York and Ireland, creating jobs and supporting industries of tomorrow.

— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) May 17, 2024

On Monday, Hochul is due to deliver a keynote address on “The Future of Cities” in Killarney, Co Kerry at the inaugural Global Economic Summit, a global convening aimed at addressing challenges including the climate crisis and economic inequality.

Ahead of the keynote address, Hochul will receive a Civic Reception from Kerry County Council on Sunday afternoon in Castlegregory. According to The Kerryman newspaper, Hochul will be honored by the Cathaoirleach and elected members of Kerry County Council and will receive a gift celebrating the close ties between New York and Co Kerry.

Hochul will depart Ireland for New York on May 20.

Previously the Lieutenant Governor of New York, Hochul assumed the role of Governor in September 2021 in the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo's resignation.

That same month, she met with then Taoiseach Micheál Martin during his visit to New York.

In November 2022, she became the first-ever female to be elected as the Governor of New York after she beat Republican opponent Lee Zeldin.

Despite being generationally removed from Ireland, Hochul - who was born Kathleen Mary Courtney - has frequently said that her Irish heritage was a key part of her upbringing. 

Her grandparents John 'Jack' Patrick Courtney and Mary Bridget (Browne) Courtney met in Chicago after leaving the same area of Co Kerry. They later settled in upstate New York where they helped found the still-active Buffalo Irish Center.

In her inaugural address in 2022, Hochul referenced her Irish immigrant grandparents: "Everyone, no matter where they came from, how they got here - to those whose ancestors came here in bondage on slave ships, and others who saw opportunity and saw New York as a shining beacon, drawing millions from every corner of the planet, just like my impoverished grandparents left Ireland as teenagers came through Ellis Island.

“And because of that, we are home to the most diverse population - people of every color, creed, national origin, and orientation call New York home. 

"And for the next four years, our sole mission will be to lift up every New Yorker and make a difference in their lives, so their tomorrows will be better than their yesterdays.”