For the first time since 2019, the annual Belfast International Homecoming will welcome an international delegation of expats and diaspora allies when it convenes at the end of this month.
Over four days, an exciting programme of events, presentations and visits across the city will introduce global visitors to the very best of Belfast — and encourage them to forge enduring bonds with the city.
As @BelfastHome gets underway, I wish all those attending a wonderful time in Belfast. We are deeply appreciative of the support of our Diaspora, particularly those traveling from the US. #BelfastHome pic.twitter.com/tijZA6tHDe— Andrea Haughian (@Andrea_Haughian) November 28, 2018
Homecoming convenor Connla McCann says the city is looking forward to welcoming its first sizeable transatlantic delegation post-Covid. "Courtesy of our partners – ranging from Belfast City Council to Ulster University, Belfast Maritime Mile, Fáilte Feirste Thiar and EastSide Visitor Centre — we can especially guarantee a hearty céad míle fáilte for a strong US delegation led by the American Irish Legislators Society from the New York state capital Albany," she said.
Highlight of Homecoming week will be a gala dinner in Titanic Hotel on Thursday 29 September when Belfast Ambassador Medals will be presented.
Previous recipients of the Belfast Ambassador Medal include NY State Assemblyman Mike Fitzpatrick and former New Jersey judge Francene Schott.
This year's premier Spirit of the Diaspora Award will go to a Northern Irish expat who has risen to the very top of the global drinks sector: Ian McLernon.
A native of Ballymoney, Co Antrim, Ian is the incoming CEO for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Asia Pacific (North and South) and Global Travel Retail with the Rémy Cointreau Group.
For the past four years, McLernon has been CEO & President of Rémy Cointreau in the US where he made a considerable contribution to the Irish diaspora networks and promoted the work of Co-Operation Ireland USA.
Further details on registration for the Belfast International Homecoming are on the official website.