Chamber Lunch with the US Ambassador to Ireland

On Friday 8th May, the Chamber was privileged to host the Unites States Ambassador to Ireland, Mr Kevin O’Malley and his wife Dena as our Guests of honour at a Chamber lunch in the Sligo Park Hotel.
The event was very well attended and was preceded by a series of one to one meetings between Sligo companies who are doing business or intend doing business in the United States with Finola Cunningham who heads up SelectUSA. SelectUSA is a federal U.S. government program that promotes the U.S. as an investment destination and acts as a one-stop-shop for potential foreign investors.
In welcoming the Ambassador, reference was made the strong reciprocal business relationships that exist between the United States and the West Coast of Ireland. Reference was also made to the fact that underlying those business relationships are the personal ties that indelibly link our two countries on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Drawing on this, it was pointed out that on the following day, May 9th, the Ambassador was going to honour the dead of the American Civil War in Ballymote where so many of our countrymen paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Ambassador O’Malley spoke of his own origins where his Grandfather emigrated from Westport just over 100 years ago and how America has been and will continue to be a friend of Ireland on account of the close personal links between our two countries. He also spoke of the leading role played by Irish people in the foundation of the United States of America and how that continues to manifest itself today.
The lunch concluded with a presentation to the Ambassador from our President, David Kiely, of the Yeats Poem “The Song of Wandering Aengus”. Given the passionate intensity of the protestors in Ballymote at the commemorative ceremony the following day, perhaps “The Second Coming” would have been a better choice.