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Minister Sherlock calls on J1 students to build networks of goodwill

International relations, MoS Sean Sherlock, Travel, Press Releases, North America, Ireland, 2014

 

Minister of State for Trade Promotion at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Sean Sherlock T.D., told alumni of the J1 programme to build on their network of connections and experiences to further promote Ireland-US links.

The Minister was speaking at the ‘J1 Connect’ event, at the RDS (earlier today) which was organised by the US Embassy to harness the energy of the 150,000 Irish people who have participated in the J1 programme over almost 50 years.

Minister Sherlock pointed to recent growth in Irish business and professional networks and encouraged J1 participants to think big, in terms of the potential benefits of the work and travel programme:

“Networks, connections and potential opportunities should be on the minds of all who are either thinking about spending a summer in the J1 programme or who have recently done so. Such networking is vitally important in the context of the robust economic relationship between Ireland and the US”

In the scientific realm, frameworks such as the US-Ireland R&D Partnership and the Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists are two more examples of other new and innovative ways that our two countries can engage with and learn from each other.

Our relations are also characterised by the huge cultural exchanges over many decades between the US and Ireland. Many Irish working in the arts see America as their second country, and America has shown a great appreciation of the works they produce, while American culture has had a profound influence on Ireland. Contacts like the J1 have further reinforced these ties.

The Minister also welcomed the confirmation of Kevin O’Malley as the new US Ambassador to Ireland, and paid tribute to the J1 students in San Francisco who had stepped forward to make amends, following well-publicised damage to a rental property there, criticising those who caused the damage:

“They do not represent us or the overwhelming majority who participate in the summer J1 programme from Ireland. I pay tribute our Consulate in San Francisco, to the local Irish community in San Francisco, including local Irish immigration centres, and to other Irish J1 students who have sought to make amends for what has taken place.

We are engaging with student organisations to try to minimise the prospect of such occurrences in the future”.

 

Press Office, 25 September 2014