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America's Irish can now get connected

"This is a great day for Irish people right across the U.S.," said IN USA president, Aoife Butler.

"Until now, there has been no unified grouping that connected individuals across the country. With IN USA, that has changed, and we're confident that this is the beginning of a very important link for all Irish people in America for many years to come," said Butler.

"There is a general goodwill towards the Irish in the U.S. and we believe that combining this with our collective strengths as individuals makes sense. Quite simply, a body like this helps Irish people living in the U.S. both to succeed as individuals, and to continue to contribute to the rich relationship that has built up between Ireland and the U.S."

IN USA, according to the group, is a forum through which individuals from any and all fields can connect through the common bonds of heritage and identity with modern Ireland. By harnessing the energy of its diverse membership, IN USA aims to strengthen the economic, social and cultural ties between America and Ireland.

"The idea for an IN USA was first mooted in early 2009, and the initiative was given a boost with the Global Irish Economic Forum at Farmleigh in September last year," said Butler.

"The Irish Ambassador to the United States, Michael Collins, then invited all the Irish Networks from across the country to meet with him and discuss a formal connection. It was this invitation that led to an agreement to set up IN USA."

Irish Networks, according to Butler, are already enjoying success in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and the Bay Area, San Diego and Washington D.C.

Each was formed with the aim of encouraging Irish networking in their local community. IN USA, continued Butler, takes that objective to the next level by allowing members of the "Ins" to connect to the wider Irish community through a website and national member database.

IN USA, said the New York-based Butler, will also be a resource to assist Irish, Irish Americans, and friends of Ireland in other cities to serve their community, and the national connection will allow for greater collaboration and success for all.

"Many prominent, influential and successful Irish people have shared their experiences and insights through the INs, and mentored other Irish people to succeed," she said.

The new website can be accessed at www.irishnetwork-usa.com Aoife Butler is at aoifebutler@paulhastings.com.

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