First Foreign Affairs Chairman to be invited to the White House

March 14th, 2012 - Pat Breen

Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee Chairman Pat Breen to visit US for St Patrick’s Day

14th March 2012

Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen, TD, will travel to the United States for a programme of events to mark St Patrick’s Day.

On Tuesday, 20th March, Deputy Breen will become the first Chairman of an Oireachtas Foreign Affairs Committee to be invited to the White House when he will attend the St Patrick’s Day reception in the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States of America.

Committee Chairman, Pat Breen TD said: “It is an honour to represent the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade at this year’s St Patrick’s Day reception in the White House.

Our national holiday, St Patrick’s Day, offers our country a unique opportunity to present itself on the world stage. While it is a time when people around the globe celebrate Ireland and what it means to be Irish, it also offers a chance to build relationships and strengthen bonds. Ireland has a long and enduring friendship with the United States and this is reflected in many ways, including in the economic ties between our two countries. There are now around 500 US companies operating in Ireland, including major firms such as Intel, Boston Scientific, Dell, Pfizer/Wyeth, IBM, CITI, Medtronic, Hewlett Packard and Abbot. It is estimated that more than 220 Irish companies are trading in the US. It is an amazing success story and is testament to the strong links built up over the years and which continue to be fostered by the various meetings and events which will be held in the US over the St Patrick’s Weekend.

In the US, as Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, I will be using every opportunity to relay the message that Ireland is open for business and that now is the time to invest in Ireland.”

Among the business and trade meetings and events which Deputy Breen will attend during his visit to the US are, the Enterprise Ireland Business Leaders’ Lunch, the Enterprise Ireland Seminar on the Energy Sector and Utilities and the Science Foundation Ireland/Wild Geese Network of Irish Scientists event. He will also attend the Irish-US Council lunch and will meet with Irish State economic agencies.

Deputy Breen will also represent the Irish Government at the Northern Ireland Bureau St Patrick’s Day Breakfast on 20th March, an event which will also be attended by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

Deputy Breen said: “We should remember the key role played by various US administrations in helping to broker peace in Northern Ireland. The US continues to play an