Tánaiste Micheál Martin comments at Ireland- US Council, New York
Press release16 March 2023
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank Tom, David and the whole team for gathering us all together here on the eve of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
As I look around this room, it is clear that here in New York our national day is a unique celebration of shared heritage, friendship and connection with Ireland. I am honoured to represent the Irish government here at today’s gathering and am looking forward to meeting Mayor Adams tomorrow morning and marching up 5th Avenue with Governor Hochul.
I am here at a pivotal time, as we approach the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.
That fundamental expression of democracy and hope was a watershed moment in our shared history – it marked a collective commitment to transforming relationships within and between our islands to secure a better future for our young people. Companies from around the world have flocked to Northern Ireland, creating jobs and prosperity. This investment in the region, and indeed in the all-island economy, which would have been almost unthinkable before 1998, is now a welcome reality.
The jobs created by those investments are a true dividend of the peace process, which in turn contributes to stability and peace. We know that peace and prosperity come hand in hand, each reinforcing the other.
The recently agreed Windsor Framework comprehensively addresses the concerns of people and business in Northern Ireland, and provides the stability and predictability that is a prerequisite for investment. This agreement is the result of the sustained commitment of our EU partners, and is the fruit of genuine engagement.
I am hopeful that political leaders in Northern Ireland will embrace this framework and turn their attention to getting all of the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement up and running again, including vital North/South cooperation.
In this endeavour, I know we can rely on continued unwavering bipartisan support here in the United States, which has been so crucial and valued throughout the entire peace process.
I welcome the appointment of Joe Kennedy III as US Special Envoy to Northern Ireland. It is another clear demonstration of the enduring US commitment to supporting peace in, and building the prosperity of, Northern Ireland.
US investment into Ireland is crucial also, and I’m glad to say that the trade and investment partnership between Ireland and the United States remains strong.
Bilateral trade and investment has rebounded much faster than expected over the past year, with US companies attracted by Ireland’s young, highly-educated, highly skilled workforce; our stable and consistent business environment; and our historic person-to-person and business ties with the US.
And of course the Irish-US trade and investment relationship is very much a two-way street. Irish businesses employ well over 100,000 Americans across all sectors of the economy in cities and towns throughout the US.
I would like to thank David, and the Council, for all that you do in working to build and strengthen economic relations between the US and Ireland.
While the world faces enormous challenges currently, I know that the relationship between Ireland and the US will remain strong and vital and we are thankful to have good friends in the US who continue to promote tourism, investment and trade with us. Despite the difference in scale, both our economies are strong, free and open. They form a real partnership – a partnership that we celebrate here today.
Finally, I want to recognise Attorney General Tish James; a true friend of Ireland, and here with us today to receive your award for excellence in public service.
Amongst your many achievements, I want to make special mention of one in particular.
Through your work and that of her office’s Charities Bureau, the American Irish Historical Society building will continue to be accessible and open to future generations- and I want to commend the interim board for their work to date on this. I know interim board member Dr Elizabeth Stack is here with us today; thank you Elizabeth.
Attorney General James, the Irish community in New York owes you a debt of gratitude. I would like to extend an invitation to you to visit Ireland - I have heard you want to visit Cork, which speaks to your excellent judgement.
Your service, not only in your current role, but also as New York City public advocate, make you a most deserving recipient- comhghairdeas.
Go raibh maith agaibh go léir agus beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh.
16 March 2023