Congressmen Richard Neal and Brendan Boyle were among the participants in the first Global Irish Parliamentarians’ Forum in Dublin last week.

An international group of Irish-connected parliamentarians gathered to foster Ireland’s relationship with its diaspora by bringing together Irish-connected political representatives who serve in national parliaments and state assemblies in Australia, Canada, France, the U.K. and the U.S.

Diaspora Minister Jimmy Deenihan invited the parliamentarians to this forum which emerged from Ireland’s diaspora policy, Global Irish, in which the government restated its commitment to nurturing Ireland’s relationship with its diaspora.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said, “My experience as minister for foreign affairs and trade has made clear to me that friends of Ireland overseas, including parliamentarians, can be of great assistance to Irish companies seeking to do business overseas."

Deenihan added, "I was overwhelmed by the positive response to my invitation and I am confident that this forum will further strengthen the bonds these elected officials feel with Ireland. This forum will allow us to brief the parliamentarians on the government’s ambitious plans to commemorate 1916, including the many events which will take place around the world."

The group visited some of Ireland’s most popular attractions including the Book of Kells at Trinity College Dublin and the GAA Museum in Croke Park.