Conference visitors to see historic Red Hook

Civic leaders in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn will be rolling out the red carpet for delegates at the New York-New Belfast conference next month as part of a special tour being hosted by New York's Commissioner of Small Business Services, Rob Walsh.

Once dubbed the "crack capital of America," Red Hook is today an emerging, waterside community which today boasts a vibrant business, arts and community scene as well as one of New York's most-loved Irish bars, Rocky Sullivan's, where delegates will complete their visit with a pint of plain.

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The visit to Red Hook will come on the second day of the New York-New Belfast conference at Fordham University Lincoln Center and will include a visit to the Red Hook Community Court and to the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation.

"There is no other place in New York City like Red Hook," said Commissioner Rob Walsh.

"It is rich in history and now home of craftspeople, artists, chefs and entrepreneurs. "It is a work in progress as the waterfront is being reclaimed and commerce and housing are being added. I think the Belfast delegation will be pleased with what they see during their visit as well as what they take away from it."

Among the contributors to the second annual New York-New Belfast conference will be New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu and Tom Kelly, script writer for "Blue Bloods."

They will be joined by speakers from Belfast including Roisin McDonough, CEO of the Northern Ireland Arts Council, Eimear Ní Mhathúna of the An Chultúrlan in West Belfast, and former Alliance Party Lord Mayor of Belfast Tom Ekin.

"Since we last met at Fordham, we have seen a number of groundbreaking partnerships between New York and Belfast, including the visit by famed urbanist Michael Sorkin and his City University students to Belfast," said Irish Echo President, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.

"Now we plan to go a step further by announcing a number of initiatives, including the first-ever small business missions from New York to Belfast, and vice versa. These conferences are showcasing the potential of Belfast and building the peace while also creating mutual opportunities for the peoples of both cities."

For more details of the conference, being hosted by the Irish Echo and Belfast Media Group, go to