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Mayors Visit to New York St. Patricks Day 2018

Press Release

Visit by Mayor Martin Miley and Niall Morrissey Director of Services to St. Patrick's Day Festival in New York as guests of the County Kildare Association of New York

The Mayor of Kildare County Council, Martin Miley received an invitation from the President of the County Kildare Association of New York,  Mr. John Duggan, to participate with them in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York on 17th March, 2018. The Mayor was accompanied by Niall Morrissey Director of Services Kildare County Council, who represented the Chief Executive of Kildare County Council.

The Mayor and the Director of Services were also invited to attend the County Kildare Association of New York St. Patrick's Day Dinner on 18th March, 2018.

15th March, 2018

The visit to New York commenced on Thursday 15th March when the Mayor and Director of Services were guests of the Treasurer of the County Kildare Association of New York, Mr. Chris Burke. This occasion provided an opportunity for the Kildare Association to outline recent activities and events held, in addition to advising the Mayor in regard to the Association's future plans. The Treasurer also explained the type of supports offered by the Association in New York, including assistance for residents from Kildare travelling to find employment opportunities in New York. The members of the Association are also available to provide guidance to any Kildare Businesses seeking to expand their operations in the USA in addition to encouraging American based businesses to invest in Kildare.

Their mission statement states "The Kildare Association New York is dedicated to encouraging socialization and support for Irish immigrants originating from County Kildare, Ireland.

We enhance the communities in the New York area by facilitating Irish-American cultural, social, and professional networking events. From monthly events to annual gala, we are dedicated to creating opportunities for our members and other Irish Americans to bond through their shared Kildare heritage.

16th March, 2018

While in New York the Mayor and Director of Services took the opportunity to meet with representatives of Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA with the objectives of

  1. Ensuring that Kildare County Council is appropriately focused on making the County an attractive proposition in which to locate investment opportunities,
  2. Ensuring that Kildare is an attractive location for American Tourists, and
  3. Ensuring that Tourism Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the IDA are firmly focused on promoting County Kildare and in assisting Kildare Businesses to expand their operations into new markets in the USA


Tourism Ireland

The Mayor and the Director of Services met with Ms. Orla Carey Advertising & Digital Marketing Manger and Mr. Paul McDonagh Trade and Industry Engagement Manager with Tourism Ireland.

We took the opportunity to outline the attractiveness of Kildare for the Tourist, the number of interesting sites and locations we have to offer, in addition to how well the County is  served with accommodation and fine dining experiences.

In particular we engaged with Paul McDonagh on how we can influence the Tour Operators to include overnight stays in Kildare in their packages, emphasising the strength of the County in regard to the Equine Industry and how we should be linking this industry to the Tourism Sector.

We pointed out the tremendous work being carried out throughout the County to provide experiences for the "active" visitor, particularly in regard to walks and trails such as the Greenway in North Kildare and the Barrow Blueway in South West Kildare. The potential of the Curragh Plains also featured prominently in our discussions.

The Tourism Ireland representatives then briefed us on Tourism Ireland’s extensive promotional programme in the United States for 2018.

They pointed out that the United States is the second-largest market for tourism to the island of Ireland. 2017 was the fifth record-breaking year in a row for Irish tourism from the US, when we welcomed a record 1.83 American visitors.

Tourism Ireland recently launched a new strategy to continue to grow tourism from the United States, setting out ambitious targets which will see the island of Ireland welcome 2 million American visitors per year by 2021, representing growth of +23%; and will see revenue generated by American holidaymakers increase by +33%, to €1.37 billion per annum.

In particular the ‘culturally curious’ and ‘social energiser’ audiences are being targeted with distinctive vacation experiences, events and special offers tailored to their interests. Tourism Ireland is creating ‘stand out’ for the island of Ireland in the US, highlighting experiences like the Wild Atlantic Way, the Causeway Coastal Route and Ireland’s Ancient East. Promotions aim to grow travel to the regions of Ireland, during the shoulder and off-peak seasons.

St Patrick’s Day traditionally marks the real start of the tourism season for Tourism Ireland; their aim is to bring a smile to the faces of people everywhere and to convey the message that Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as wonderful scenery and heritage. Tourism Ireland use every opportunity to capitalise on Ireland’s heightened profile during the St. Patrick's Day Festival; the saturation coverage about Ireland at this time of year – across the airwaves, in newspapers and digital media – is an invaluable boost for the overall tourism marketing drive in 2018.

During the St. Patrick's Day Festival, Tourism Ireland participated in and promoted the island of Ireland at a range of St Patrick’s Day events across the United States. Numerous landmarks and iconic sites participated in Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative to celebrate St Patrick and Ireland – including the ‘Welcome’ sign in Las Vegas, City Hall in San Francisco, Harbour Bridge in Corpus Christi and the world-famous Niagara Falls. In addition Chicago celebrated St Patrick and Ireland once again this year, with sites across the city lighting up green – including Soldier Field, Navy Pier, the John Hancock Centre, the Civic Opera House, the Wrigley Building, Novak Construction, State Street and the Irish American Heritage Centre.

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Niall Morrissey, Kildare County Council; Orla Carey, Tourism Ireland; Martin Miley, Mayor of Kildare and Paul McDonagh, Tourism Ireland, in the Tourism Ireland office in New York.


Enterprise Ireland

The Mayor and the Director of Services met with Mr. Aidan Hayes Senior Business Leader focussed on Partnering, Innovation and FinTech with Enterprise Ireland.

We took the opportunity to outline the strong professional role being played by the Kildare Local Enterprise Office, (LEO), in assisting new start up businesses as well as supporting existing businesses to expand both domestically and internationally.

We particularly underlined the strength of having the Local Enterprise Office closely aligned with Kildare County Council providing the opportunity for a streamlined approach to supporting the business sector in Kildare.

Mr. Hayes then outlined the type of supports that Enterprise Ireland provide throughout the USA and detailed how these supports are organised both geographically across the different business sectors.

These supports are categorised in terms of coaching, guidance and financial.

Mr. Hayes was keen to emphasise that enterprises seeking to locate outside of Ireland should start their discussions with the Local Enterprise Office, followed by Enterprise Ireland representatives within Ireland to ensure that they maximise the generous financial grants available before attempting to make links with markets in other countries.

It was agreed that it is vital that Kildare County Council continue to keep Enterprise Ireland in America briefed in regard to developments in the County.

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Mayor Martin Miley and Niall Morrissey DOS with Mr. Aidan Hayes Enterprise Ireland New York



IDA Ireland


The Mayor and the Director of Services met with the following representatives from IDA Ireland:


  • Patrick McGee Vice President Engineering Industrial and Clean Tech
  • Aidan Houlihan Vice President International Financial Services, and
  •  Gemma Allen Vice President Consumer and Technology


Initially we briefed the IDA representatives in regard the current state of the economy in Kildare and how Kildare County Council is constantly positioning the County as an ideal location for investment in employment generating activities.


We emphasised our close proximity to the Airports, Ports and rail lines and the advantage of the extensive Motorway Network which traverses the county both East-West and North-South. Included in this brief was a progress report in regard to the Naas Newbridge Bypass Upgrade, the Osberstown Interchange and the Sallins Bypass which are all under construction. In addition to an update in regard to the Athy Distributor Route, the completion of the Naas Inner Relief Road and the first section of the Maynooth Outer Orbital Route.


We took the opportunity to stress how well the County is serviced in terms of water and waste water infrastructure capacity, while all the time stressing how ready the entire County is to accommodate new investment opportunities.


Our briefing particularly focussed on the advantage of having a highly educated, young, vibrant, energetic  population in County Kildare, with the presence of the National University of Ireland Maynooth being a particular advantage.


While emphasising the strengths of locating business in Naas, Newbridge, Leixlip, Celbridge and Maynooth, we took some time to highlight the attraction and benefits of locating in Athy, Castledermot, Kilcullen and Kildare Town.


The KCC representatives outlined the number and scale of companies that have already established themselves across the County and which we believe can act as Ambassadors as we strive to attract other organisations to do likewise e.g. Intel, Pfizer, Kerry Group, Musgraves, Lidl and Aldi Distributor Centres, etc.


The overall discussion focussed a lot on the proximity to transport links, availability of a skilled workforce, quality of life issues and the importance of a strong supply of affordable accommodation.

With this in mind we briefed the IDA Representatives in regard to the number of residential planning approvals granted in each town in the County and the diversity of accommodation types, (both tenure and unit size), that Kildare County Council strives to encourage.


We had a general discussion about how important it is to start examining ways to streamline the planning process to ensure that new business is not hindered in their attempts to get established in Ireland. In addition it would be an advantage to ensure our industrial and commercial zonings are strategically located and in some cases it may be prudent to invest in advance facilities which are ready to accept new investment. The KCC representatives then took the opportunity to outline the areas in the County where we already have such facilities in place.


The IDA Ireland representatives requested that we attempt to carry out a survey of the skills and qualifications held by the commuters that traverse our County and leave our County on a daily basis as they travel to their place of work. They were keen to make the point that this type of information would be invaluable when they were in discussion with potential investors thereby demonstrating that by locating in Kildare they would be guaranteed a large supply of appropriately skilled people.


Before finishing the meeting all 3 IDA Ireland representatives encouraged Kildare County Council to maintain a strong relationship with IDA Ireland in New York in order to keep them briefed on issues relating to the County, thereby assisting them in their quest to attract investment to County Kildare.

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Mayor Martin Miley and Niall Morrissey DOS with Patrick McGee, Aidan Houlihan and Gemma Allen IDA Ireland in New York


Consulate General of Ireland New York


The Mayor and the Director of Services attended a gathering hosted by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the offices of the Consulate General of Ireland in New York.


At this gathering An Taoiseach welcomed a large number of Irish Mayors to New York as guests of their relevant Associations in the City. He emphasised the importance of, and encouraged the strengthening of, relationships with the Irish Diaspora in New York and across America. Taoiseach Varadkar underlined the importance of these connections in terms of their potential impact on the Irish Economy, particularly the potential for increasing investment in Ireland and increasing the number of visitors to our Country.


This is an important event which takes place each year in New York during the St. Patrick's Day celebrations and provides an excellent networking opportunity for representatives from each County in Ireland and a number Semi-State and State organisations based in New York.


Mayor Martin Miley availed of the opportunity to meet An Taoiseach and impress on him the importance of Kildare securing our share of Capital Investment for schemes such as the Maynooth Outer Orbital Route, the Naas Inner Relief Road, the Athy Distributor Route and other large scale capital projects planned for County Kildare.


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 Mayor Martin Miley meets An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in the offices of the Consulate General of Ireland in New York

17th March, 2018

Mayor Martin Miley and Niall Morrissey DOS represented Kildare County Council at a St. Patrick's Day Mass celebrated by Cardinal Timothy Dolan in St. Patrick's Cathedral, 5th Avenue New York.

This mass was then followed by the St. Patrick's Day Parade down 5th Avenue, New York which formed the centrepiece of Mayor Martin Miley's visit to New York on the invitation of the Kildare Association of New York.

Mayor Miley was afforded the honour of leading the Kildare Association in the Parade.

The New York City St. Patrick’s Parade is the oldest and largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the world. The first parade was held on March 17, 1762, fourteen years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Over 150,000 people march in the New York Parade which is viewed by in excess of 2 million spectators.

Mayor Miley marched in front of the Kildare Association's official banner, which is a portrait depicting St. Bridget next to the Round Tower of Kildare.

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Mayor Martin Miley leads the Kildare Association in the St. Patrick's Day Parade down 5th Ave New York

18th March, 2018

Mayor Martin Miley and Niall Morrissey DOS were guests of the Kildare Association of New York at their St. Patrick's Day Dinner on 18th March, 2018, which took place in Heritage Bar and Restaurant, 960 McLean Ave., Yonkers NY 10704

The Mayor provided the large audience with a detailed update on how Kildare is performing in terms of Economic, Sporting and Cultural Development.

He made a number of presentations to the Officers of the Kildare Association recognising the importance of the work they are carrying out on behalf of th people of Kildare.

Mayor Miley also had the honour of reading out the Oath of Acceptance on the occasion of the approval of 3 new officers to the Kildare Association.

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Mayor Martin Miley with Kildare Association of New York Officers


Mayor Martin Miley and Niall Morrissey DOS had one further engagement while in New York whereby we attended a gathering of Business Leaders of Irish Descent in the Emerald Guild Society in Our Lady of Good Council at 230 East 90th Street. This event afforded the Mayor and the DOS an opportunity to meet a number of Building Managers based in New York where we discussed the potential of high density buildings both for retail and residential accommodation in Ireland. In addition the KCC representatives had yet another opportunity to promote County Kildare as an ideal location for overseas investment. 


Additional Information regarding the Kildare Association of New York

The Kildare Association of New York is a benevolent organization set up to encourage socialization and support for American immigrants originating from County Kildare, Ireland. After reaching their centennial anniversary in 1996, the Kildare Association is one of the first benevolent Irish organizations formed in this country and is still going strong today. As a result of the Irish Famine, which started in 1846, millions of Irish immigrated to American shores. These immigrants primarily socialized with other immigrants who originated from the same counties in Ireland. These groups eventually formed organizations and held social functions for its members.

Members of the organization representing Country Kildare decided to become an official benevolent organization at the end of the 19th century. The organization first had to decide on a symbol and banner to represent their official group. The members decided on the Round Tower as the Symbol for their organization. The Round Tower was erected in Kildare sometime in the tenth century. This symbol would later appear on all official communications of the organization. For the official banner, they agreed on a portrait depicting St. Bridget next to the round tower of Kildare. Born in 450 A.D., she was responsible for getting women involved in the formation of the early Church in Ireland. She founded the first convent in Cill Dara, Kildare. Many shrines in her honor are still in existence. One such shrine is St. Bridget's Well in County Kildare. This banner is used at all parades and hung at all official social functions. 

With their official symbol and banner in place, The Kildare Association became one of the first Irish organizations to officially file as a benevolent association. They filed as an organization in New York State on September 3, 1896. Today, the Kildare Association of New York continues to be active. New members are welcome to perpetuate the organization's future. 

Meeting are held on a monthly basis at the Heritage Bar & Restaurant, 960 McLean Ave.,

Yonkers NY 10704

General Inquiries email :

or view


President: Mr. John Duggan

Vice President: Ms. Carmel Mangan

Treasurer: Mr. Chris Burke

Recording Secretary: Sr. Ann Keegan


Additional Information regarding Tourism Ireland

Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.

Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 281,000 people across the island.

In 2017, we welcomed approximately 10.65 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €5.78 billion.

Tourism Ireland’s international website is, 29 market sites available in 11 language versions around the world, which attracted around 19.3 million visitors in 2017.

For other information contact: Niamh Doherty, Tourism Ireland    01-476 3425

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