American Ambassador visits Kerry County Council

Released: 25 August 2009

Kerry County Council hosted a civic reception for American Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney, on Tuesday, August 25th. The reception was attended by elected representatives from Kerry County Council and Tralee Town Council, the Mayors of Tralee, Killarney and Listowel, and Kerry’s Oireachtas representatives. Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Bobby O’Connell, who welcomed the Ambassador to the county, spoke of the link between Ireland and America, both economically and culturally. Speaking of the American-Ireland Fund, which Ambassador Rooney co-founded, the Mayor pointed to its impact in Ireland back in the 1970s and 1980s. “At a time when the Irish economy was the envy of none, the Ireland Fund, as it was known then, gave crucial backing to promoting peace in Northern Ireland, invested heavily in educational facilities, and supported community development groups and projects. “And at a time when it was neither popular nor fashionable to be associated with Ireland, the Ireland Fund demonstrated to Irish people that there were those who believed in Ireland, who believed in her people and were willing to back that belief.” The Mayor also spoke of Kerry County Council’s own efforts to promote Kerry as a destination for business investment. “One initiative we are currently developing is the creation of a group of Kerry Ambassadors. This is a core group of people with Kerry connections, who have the business skills, expertise, know-how and connections to enable us to better sell Kerry as a business destination. “Over the years we have had plenty of success stories with Kerry entrepreneurs and business people who have climbed to the top of their particular careers. Now we must tap into their knowledge and experience for the benefit of this county.” Ambassador Rooney was presented with a specially commissioned piece of Valentia Slate bearing the Rooney family crest and Kerry crest, as well as a personalised Kerry jersey. And he pointed to the advantages that Kerry enjoyed when it came to attracting business. “Your airport in Farranfore is a real plus in bringing business into the county, as is the intelligence of the people in the county, who are working to try and be successful.” He pointed to the Rose of Tralee Festival as a vibrant example of this and stated that the American Embassy would not be found wanting in promoting Ireland as a business destination.

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email:

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