Belfast jpg

New York legislators commit to Belfast Homecoming

Belfast jpg

Belfast jpg


Belfast is readying to host a big American delegation at its second annual Homecoming and Belfast One City Conference. Pictured here is the city’s Titanic Center.

By Irish Echo Staff
letters@irishecho.com

The biggest-ever delegation of New York politicians is setting out for Belfast this October to attend the city’s second annual Homecoming.

Among the 40-strong bipartisan delegation of New York State Assembly and Senate members are longtime friends of Belfast, Democrat Mike Cusick from Staten Island, and Republican Mike Fitzpatrick from Long Island.

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These prominent members of the American Irish Legislators Society of New York will be joined by colleagues with scant connection to Ireland, including Senator Diane Savino and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis — whose parents hail from Greece and Cuba.

Rolling out the red carpet for the New York politicians and diaspora representatives from three continents will be Belfast leaders who are championing the transformation of the city.

For the first time, a cross-party delegation of Westminster MPs, including Labour’s Conor McGinn and the Conservatives' Conor Burns, will take part in the three day, diaspora-linked, extravaganza.

And joining the grand gathering will the Mayor of Bilbao, Juan Mari Aburto, making his first visit to Belfast to share information about the dramatic renaissance of the Basque Country’s showcase city.

Belfast Homecoming host, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, said Belfast will be putting on its game-face for the visitors.

“There are six million people on the island of Ireland, but 70 million in our global family,” Ó Muilleoir, who is also publisher of the Irish Echo, said.

“At the Homecoming, we get a chance to discuss with the diaspora how we can, together, build a better Belfast.

“I am looking forward to a spectacular celebration of Belfast and an opportunity to pay homage to those who 'took the boat' in search of a better life whether they left these shores ten years ago, or a hundred years ago.

“Our message is simple: come home to join in the work of building the peace in Belfast with jobs, investment, partnerships and opportunities,” Ó Muilleoir, who is also a former Lord Mayor of Belfast, said.

The Belfast Homecoming (its full official title is the Homecoming and Belfast One City Conference) runs from 7-10 October.

Sponsors include Belfast City Council, Tyco, Deloitte and Ulster Bank. More at www.newbelfast.com/homecoming-2015/