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PR- 089-08
March 13, 2008


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn today announced that they will travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland to attend the US-Northern Ireland Investment Conference on May 8th, 2008. The Mayor will speak at the landmark conference, which is being held on the first anniversary of the St. Andrews Agreement, along side Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Dr. Ian Paisley, First Minister of Northern Ireland; and Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. The Mayor and Speaker were invited to attend the conference by First Minister Paisley and Deputy First Minister McGuinness when they visited New York's City Hall last December. This will be Mayor Bloomberg's first trip to Northern Ireland as Mayor and he will be joined by his liaison to the Irish community, radio host Adrian Flannelly.

"The future of Northern Ireland has never been brighter, because the commitment to peace has never been stronger," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "With peace and stability come economic opportunities.  This conference will not only give leaders in Northern Ireland an opportunity to showcase their economic potential, it will give us an opportunity to discuss with business leaders in Northern Ireland how New York can offer them investment opportunities they won't find anywhere else.  I was honored to be asked to attend, and I look forward to going."

"Good jobs and economic development are critical components to moving the peace process forward," said Speaker Quinn. "New York City and Belfast are proud partners in peace and it is a distinct honor to participate in this important conference."

"The US- Northern Ireland investment conference will provide a jumpstart for solid investment opportunities for Americans and Irish alike and Mayor Bloomberg's participation lends tremendous credibility and support to this undertaking," said Adrian Flannelly, Chairman and CEO of Irish Radio Network USA. "The conference further solidifies the great bond between New Yorkers and the island of Ireland."

The US-Northern Ireland Investment Conference marks the first year of Northern Ireland's new executive administration, which is focused on ensuring peace, prosperity and stability in the region. The conference provides a unique opportunity to highlight the dramatic transformation Northern Ireland has seen in recent years, while also exploring the growing opportunities for businesses in Northern Ireland and the U.S. to tap into each other's markets.  The conference will be held in Belfast, which is becoming an increasingly vital center of international commerce.

Close to 500,000 residents of Irish descent live in New York City's five boroughs. The strong connection between the Irish and New Yorkers has helped strengthen and encourage trade, investments and tourism for many years. Last year, Mayor Bloomberg celebrated the securing of the first direct flights between the United States and Ireland West Airport Knock at a ceremony at the airport in County Mayo, Ireland.  During his visit, the Mayor also unveiled the City's international marketing campaign in and around Dublin encouraging Irish residents to visit New York. The campaign was coordinated out of NYC & Company's tourism office in Dublin, which opened in July 2006. In August 2006, the Mayor visited County Sligo, Ireland to dedicate the memorial to the Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment of New York.  While he was in Sligo, he also spoke with local business leaders.


Stu Loeser / John Gallagher   (212) 788-2958

Jamie McShane (Council)   (212) 788-2116

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