Christine quinn11

Seeking ambassadors for return flight to Belfast

A Belfast Ambassadors Network to be launched at the upcoming New York-New Belfast conference has got off to a flying start — courtesy of Tourism Ireland.

Irish Echo readers who vote on our online conference poll to identify the project which bests plays an ambassador’s role for Irish America will be in with a chance of winning a free transatlantic flight.

The latest fillip for the June 9-10 conference comes as New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn throws her weight behind the trailblazing initiative.

“I am delighted to participate in the first ever New York-New Belfast conference,” said Speaker Quinn.

“New York and Belfast have long been partners in commerce and culture: the first international printing of our own Declaration of Independence appeared in the Belfast Newsletter, just a month after Thomas Jefferson laid down his pen. It is such a near-instantaneous and long-standing connection that has characterized the relationships of our great cities, I’m proud to be a part of building new bridges and strengthening the existing relationships between New York and Belfast.”

Among the patrons of the conference are attorneys John Connorton and John J. Reilly, KMPG chief Shaun Kelly and actress Geraldine Hughes while speakers include Rob Walsh, Commissioner of Small Business Services in New York and Fordham President Fr. Joseph McShane.

To vote in our online poll and sign up to become a Belfast Ambassador, go to www.irishecho.com. The Big Apple Irish projects shortlisted in our poll are the Irish Arts Center in New York, NYU Glucksman House, The Irish Repertory Theatre, the Irish American Writers and Artists Association, the Emerald Isle Immigration Center, Aisling Irish Community Center, and the New York Irish Center (Queens).

For full details of conference, go to www.newyorknewbelfast.com.