Belfast actress Geraldine Hughes, Oscar winners Terry and Oorlagh George, and playwrights Martin Lynch and Marie Jones are to headline at the third annual New York-New Belfast conference in New York next month.
Centered on Fordham’s University’s Lincoln Center Campus (with additional events at the American Irish Historical Society building on Park Avenue and the residence of the Consul General of Ireland) the gathering will bring together bridge-builders from both sides of the Atlantic.
Said Irish Echo President Máirtín Ó Muilleoir: “We have lined up a roster of inspiring speakers and heroes from New York City and Belfast including Pete Hamill, whose parents hail from Belfast, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Fordham President Fr. Joseph McShane, Belfast artist embedded at Ground Zero, Marcus Robinson, NYSE Technologies CFO Ben Chrnelich, New York entrepreneur Shane Naughton, and the Minister for Finance in the Stormont Executive, Sammy Wilson.
“We are taking the theme
of ‘Community, Culture, Commerce’ for this year’s conference as we believe bonds between people – community – and our common ground of arts and literature – culture – are every bit as powerful as the bridges of business – commerce. We will be bringing a strong delegation of leaders over from Belfast. but we will also roll out the red carpet for representatives of all the leading Irish American organizations,” said Ó Muilleoir.
Among the partners of this year’s conference are the Irish Business Organization of New York, Irish American Writers and Artists Inc., and the Irish Network USA.
A gala luncheon honoring 30 companies with operations in the U.S. and Ireland will be a highlight of the conference and honorees will include Viacom, which brought the MTV Europe Awards to Belfast in 2011, pharmaceutical giant Amgen, Boston-based security company, Netwatch, and Cybersource. Businesses backing the initiative are led by KPMG and include Kalikow, UNITED, Tourism Ireland, Invest NI and the NI Bureau.
Meanwhile, Rep. O’Flaherty, a key driver of the annual Golden Bridges conference linking Massachusetts and Northwest Ireland, also took part in a series of meetings in Donegal during his visit to Ireland for the One City event.
For full New York conference agenda and details, see pages 10 and 11 in this issue.