Despite the frosty conditions and inches of snow caused by storm Stella, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of the borough were received extremely warmly on their recent visit to the US capitol for the annual Saint Patrick’s Day events.
The heavy schedule of events, which play a crucial part in maintaining the strong American interest in this region, were as always, well attended by many influential Irish-American business and political interests.
Speaking from Washington, the Lord Mayor Councillor Garath Keating he said: “I am totally amazed at the level of interest and the extent of the goodwill that exists in America towards the whole island of Ireland.
“The tone of the engagements was very positive and the people out here really want to see us succeed and want to be part of our continued economic and social development.
“We have had a fantastic opportunity to attend as guests, a wide range of events and to make positive connections for the council area with many prominent people who have a keen interest in our region.
“A huge amount of effort is invested by our representative agencies out working in America to maintain our strong connections there.
“The Executive Office, The Irish Embassy, Tourism Ireland, Invest NI and many others work extremely hard to ensure the annual St Patrick’s Day events are packed with key people and excellent networking opportunities.
“We have a great product to promote and those agencies do an extraordinary job at ensuring we have a receptive audience stateside. Clearly these are key markets for us to continue to try and develop.”