A delegation of key members of the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly led by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlan travelled to Clare last weekend for a visit aimed at strengthening ties between the US and Irish regions.
The legislators are members of the New Jersey American Irish State Legislators Caucus (AISLC), a bipartisan network of American Irish legislators and legislators who are friends of Ireland at the state and local level of government. There is now an American Irish State Legislators Caucus in every state in the US.
The New Jersey delegation visited the Cliffs of Moher, where they were welcomed to Clare by the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr PJ Ryan, and Council Chief Executive Pat Dowling. The trip also included visits to Shannon Airport and Bunratty Castle.
Speaking at the Cliffs of Moher, Cllr Ryan said: “I am delighted to welcome the members of the New Jersey AISLC to County Clare today. The visit gives us the opportunity to further strengthen the links between County Clare and New Jersey, between Ireland and the US.
“It is important that we increase awareness of County Clare and the Mid West as an attractive tourism destination and investment location for business. A key part of this process is building relationships with key decision makers and Government representatives in the US.
“Transatlantic flights have resumed at Shannon Airport, restoring crucial connectivity to the region. These transatlantic services are vital to the US-Ireland relationship, but more specifically to the tourism and business links between the US and the Mid West.
“With its links to North America and Europe, Shannon Airport provides internationally trading companies with quality connectivity. As we seek to support the economic recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 in Ireland, we are delighted to welcome US tourists and businesspeople back to Shannon Airport and back to County Clare.”
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said: “The visit of the New Jersey AISLC is a vote of confidence in the region and an opportunity not only to showcase the outstanding cultural and tourism attractions in our wonderful county, but to promote the message that Clare and surrounding counties offer real opportunities for international business.”
The trip was organised by the Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Senator Mark Daly, who serves as Chair of the AISLC at national level alongside Co-Chairs Speaker Robin Vos of Wisconsin, Assemblywoman Carol Murphy of New Jersey, Representative Killian Timoney of Kentucky, Representative Fran Hurley of Illinois, Senator Shannon O’Brien of Montana, and Senator Mia Costello of Alaska.