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October 2014 - News about Ireland

The Irish economy grew by 7.7% in the twelve months to the end of June – Ireland’s fastest rate of growth in seven years. The news followed a New York Times feature supplement “Ireland: Turning A Huge Corner” on September 11 and an article the same day by the Wall Street Journal on how “Ireland’s economy returns to the core of Europe”.

The Rev. Ian Paisley, former leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), died at the age of 88.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, visited New York and Washington DC and launched celebrations to commemorate 90 years of diplomatic relations between the US and Ireland. The Embassy produced this video to mark the occasion.

Visitors to Ireland from North America increased by 18% over June-August compared to the same period a year earlier, while The Wall Street Journal reported that the Irish Dairy Board is hoping to double its US sales to $500 million by 2020.

Business Insider looked at how Irish peacekeepers rescued UN troops in the Golan Heights.

The Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, has announced a major new initiative around the civilianisation of immigration services at Dublin Airport.

The Consul General wrote a piece for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis on the ties between the city and Ireland and the potential for increased cooperation.

Emory Professor Geraldine Higgins featured in this RTÉ radio documentary on the life of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney.

Kerry won the All-Ireland Football title, defeating Donegal by 2-09 to 0-12. In the hurling, Kilkenny defeated Tipperary in a replay by 2-17 to 2-14, after a magnificent tied game earlier in September. The Washington Post reckoned “Hurling could be the coolest sport you don’t know”. In terms of raising that awareness, the Gaelic Players Association – the body representing the amateur athletes who play Gaelic football and hurling – are now active in the US, with new programmes including their “Sponsor a Scholar” campaign.

Europe – captained by Ireland’s Paul McGinley - also retained golf’s Ryder Cup, but we won’t dwell on that...

Upcoming Events

The second annual Irish Fest Atlanta takes place at the Wyndham Galleria Hotel over the weekend of October 31-November 2. Step out of the South and immerse yourself in a festival of traditional Irish music, song, dance and theatre. World class artists performing include James Kelly, Daithí Sproule, Billy McComiskey and Shannon Dunne. Visit for additional information and to register for workshops and classes.

The Irish Chamber of Commerce of Atlanta will host Ireland’s Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, for a lunchtime talk about Ireland and our cultural economy from 12pm on Wednesday, November 5. Keep an eye on for venue details and to register.

The Shamrock Open golf challenge at Peachtree Golf Club on Monday, October 6 – the main fundraiser for the Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade – is now sold out, but is already accepting registrations for 2015. You can find out more at

Science Foundation Ireland will be present at the ‘Destination Europe’ event at Georgia Tech on Friday, October 17, and interested in meeting researchers and innovators considering Ireland as a world class destination for cutting-edge research and science. You can register for the conference.

Emory University hosts ‘A Tribute to Seamus Heaney’ on Thursday, October 2, from 7.30pm in the Schwartz Center. The event is ticketed, but free; you can find more information on their website. The university’s superb exhibition ‘Seamus Heaney: The Music of What Happens’ also remains open to the public and free of charge at Emory’s Woodruff Library until November.

Arís Theatre’s superb production of Brian Friel's now classic play about emigration, Philadelphia, Here I Come!, continues its run at Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) until Sunday, October 5. Visit their website for tickets and directions to GPB. Parking is free.

The Raleigh Irish Music Festival in North Carolina will take place on Saturday, October 4, in Moore Square from 11am to 7.30pm. A great line-up of bands, musicians and dancers is promised and entrance is free.

The academic Bryan Giemza will talk about the Irish-American writer Flannery O’Connor at Emory on Tuesday, October 7. The College of Charleston in South Carolina will also celebrate Flannery O’Connor this Thursday, October 2.

The ‘Sunday in the Park’ wreath-laying ceremony with the Hibernian Benevolent Society of Atlanta – the oldest civic association of any kind in the city – will take place on Sunday, October 5, from 1.45pm at Atlanta’s historic Oakland Cemetery.

The Savannah Film Festival from October 25 until November 1 will feature Ireland this year for its ‘World Shorts Showcase’; you can find more information at their website.

The Consulate will support the launch of the next volume of the letters of Samuel Beckett at Emory University on Wednesday, November 5, with Beckett’s letters read by renowned Irish actor Barry McGovern and local performers. The event will be at the Schwartz Center at 8pm and will be free with no ticket required. Barry will also perform or read at East Tennessee State University (November 3), Georgia State University (November 6), the University of Georgia (November 10) and the University of Alabama in Birmingham (November 12) during his visit.

Ross Lipman will speak at Emory on Monday, October 6, on Samuel Beckett’s ventures into the world of film.