Donegal and Derry will showcase as hubs of creativity and culture at the annual Golden Bridges events in Boston, hosted by the Irish Echo newspaper, in Boston on 10-11 November.
Among the high-profile American participants will be Senator Therese Murray, President of the Massachusetts Senate, House of Representatives Majority Whip Charles Murphy and award-winning entrepreneur Frank Reynolds.
Among those pitching for Donegal and Derry will be County Donegal Mayor Cllr Noel McBride, Derry hotelier Garvan O’Doherty and Barry Henderson of Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC) at Altnagelvin.
The events will build on the success of the Gateways to Tomorrow conference in Boston in 2009 which spotlighted Northwest Ireland to a new generation of Irish American leaders in the Boston area. This year’s events will kick off with a Showcase Seminar at the prestigious Seaport Hotel on Thursday 10 November which is being backed by the two leading Irish American business associations in Massachusetts, the Boston Irish Business Association and the Irish American Partnership.
On 11 November, visitors from Ireland will be guests of honour at business breakfast at the University of Massachusetts Lowell before returning to Boston for the annual Golden Bridges awards luncheon. As part of the Veterans Day celebration, Gerry Adams will take part in “A Conversation with Kevin Cullen” of the Boston Globe during the lunchtime celebration. This will be Adams’ first visit to Boston since he became TD for Co. Louth.
Events will conclude with a Roundtable hosted by Rep Eugene O’Flaherty in the State House that afternoon.
Irish Echo President Máirtín Ó Muilleoir says he hopes the engagement will boost tourism, investment, trade and partnerships between Northwest Ireland and Massachusetts. “I hope we can build on this initiative to bring the biggest delegation to Northwest Ireland from Boston in a decade this coming year, followed by a major initiative from Boston towards the Derry City of Culture 2013 initiative.”