The first Irish-American Mayor of Boston in 20 years Marty Walsh departed from Shannon Airport this morning following an 11 day visit admitting Ireland is very much an economy on the move again.
Speaking ahead of his flight out of Shannon to Logan Airport, Boston, Mayor Walsh said that while there was a limited social and family side to his visit, the hectic 11 day schedule was dominated by business meetings in Shannon, Galway, Donegal, Derry, Belfast and Dublin.
“As Mayor of Boston my job is to go out there and market the city as best as we can. When I was here on this trip I tried to talk about tourism and inviting people to Boston and also around business development and making sure they know Boston is open (for business).
“That’s an important piece here, part of me as Mayor of Boston, I am also an ambassador of the City.
“As much as I enjoyed the family, this trip was really focussed on the business connections and the Government connections, making connections with other mayors from other cities here in Ireland and that’s important because in America a lot is built on the relationships with other mayors. Having those connections certainly is important.
“I’ve learned a lot more about the (Irish) economy and more particularly about the business community here in this country.
“I definitely see Ireland as an economy that is moving again and I think there’s a lot of opportunity, not just for Ireland from Boston, but there’s a lot of opportunity for Boston from Ireland.
“Ireland’s a great place. You just never know (what you’re going to see) when you go from village to village, city to city and town to town; it’s so different. It’s incredible, the people are incredible, the hotels and restaurants; it really is great and I would encourage people to come and visit Ireland at least once.”
Shannon Group plc Chairman Rose Hynes said that the Mayor’s visit had opened further opportunities between Boston and Ireland. “Mayor Walsh’s visit was a great opportunity to strengthen relationships between the City of Boston and here and we have achieved that. He is carrying back to Boston a very positive message about the West of Ireland and, indeed, the entire country.
“The last thing he said on departure was that he would continue to be in touch to discuss further opportunities for both Boston and Ireland and we look forward to that.”