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September 2014 - News About Ireland

Ireland’s former Taoiseach (Prime Minister), Albert Reynolds, died on Thursday, August 21. He was 81. Reynolds served as Taoiseach between 1992-1994 and was credited with taking significant risks to advance the Northern Ireland peace process and agree the Downing Street Declaration with the British government. He was remembered in The Irish Times by Seán Duignan, his former adviser, while the New York Times featured an obituary and the Washington Post covered his funeral in Dublin.

The ratings agency, Fitch, upgraded Ireland’s credit rating to A-, with a stable outlook. This follows Standard & Poor’s upgrading of Ireland to an A rating in June. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal looked at the return to profitability of Allied Irish Bank.

The IDA, Ireland’s investment agency, produced this superb infographic on “Why Ireland?” for international business, while Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, commented on recent coverage of multinational investment in Ireland and elsewhere.

Apica Cardiovascular, an Atlanta-born and Irish-based company arising out of Georgia Tech’s extensive collaborations with Irish universities and researchers, was purchased for $75 million; Global Atlanta had this story.

Ireland’s Central Statistics Office reported that visits to Ireland from North America increased by 12.8% in the second quarter of 2014. And these pictures by the Irish Air Corps of the Cork and Kerry coastlines help to explain the Irish south-west’s enduring popularity for visitors. The Huffington Post identified “19 reasons you need to stop whatever you are doing and go to Ireland”.

Penn State defeated the University of Central Florida (UCF) 26-24 in a thrilling season-opening Croke Park Classic in Dublin before a crowd of 53,304, which included an estimated 20,000 visitors from the US. Irish Central featured Cork-born Seán Galvin, a kicker for UCF, while the Consul General wrote a piece for UCF’s Knight News on the attractiveness of Ireland as a place to visit and to study.

Croke Park will also host both All-Ireland Finals this month, with Kilkenny taking on Tipperary in the hurling on Sunday, September 7 and Kerry meeting Donegal in the football on Sunday, September 21. Both games start at 10.30am ET and are available at for anyone not able to watch in their local Irish pub or restaurant.

And the strength of Gaelic games in the US south-east was revealed at the North American Championships in Boston over Labor Day weekend, with title victories for Atlanta’s Clan na nGael (Junior Camogie), Charlotte’s James Connolly GAA Club (Intermediate Ladies Football) and Raleigh (Junior B Men’s Football) – huge congratulations to all involved!

Upcoming Events

The Irish Chamber of Commerce hosts the legendary Don Panoz for a lunchtime meeting at Rí Rá Irish pub and restaurant from 12pm on Thursday, September 11. Don, the founder of Élan Pharmaceuticals and Chateau Élan, is an American-born Irish citizen and a terrific speaker. You can also reserve your tickets.

Arís Theatre’s production of Brian Friel's now classic play about emigration, Philadelphia, Here I Come!, opens on September 26 in Studio B at Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), and runs for two weeks. Consul General Paul Gleeson and Geraldine Higgins of Emory University will each give a brief talk after the Sunday, September 28 show to mark the 50th anniversary of the original opening of the play at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. The preview show is on September 25. Tickets and directions to GPB. Parking is free.

The Irish Cultural Museum of New Orleans will host Neil Byrne and Ryan Kelly from Celtic Thunder on Sunday, September 7, as part of the duo’s acclaimed ‘Acoustic by Candlelight’ tour. You can also reserve tickets.

Irish classical musicians Cathal Breslin and Gerald Peregrine, accompanied by Sabrina Hu, will perform as Trio Festivale at the University of Memphis in Tennessee on Friday, September 19 at 7.30pm in the Harris Concert Hall. Admission is free. The event is sponsored by the Consulate General in Atlanta and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Atlanta law firm Arnall Golden Gregory will host a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, September 9 at 10am ET for companies from Ireland and Northern Ireland interested in selling goods or services in the US. You can find out more and register to take part.

Singer Ashley Davis and harpist Cormac de Barra will play a house concert in north-east Atlanta on the evening of Friday, September 12; please email Bella Issakova for more information or to reserve your seat.

Clan na nGael will celebrate Atlanta’s Junior Camogie title at an event at Mac McGee’s in Roswell at 6pm on Saturday, September 13; all are welcome.

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.