TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY travels to New York this afternoon for a series of engagements, including a number of meetings with Irish-American business leaders.
Kenny travels this lunchtime after attending the national commemoration of the 1916 Rising at Arbour Hill this morning, in a visit aimed at marking the “very close ties between Ireland and the US”.
Kenny is also to meet with representatives of the Irish-American community in New York, and meet with “opinion formers and the media”, according to a government statement.
The two-day visit ends with a keynote address at a gala dinner hosted by the American Ireland Fund at the Lincoln Centre.
The visit had been planned before the death of Osama bin Laden on Sunday, but Kenny said he was mindful of the poignancy of the timing of his trip given news of the al-Qaeda leader’s death.
“While I intend to bring a positive message about Ireland to New York, I am also very mindful that this is a very poignant moment to visit and a
very emotional time for her citizens as the terrible memories of September 11th, 2001 are re-awakened,” Kenny said.
“During my visit I will be reflecting on those terrible losses on 9/11, including those Irish people and members of the Irish American community who were lost on that day.”
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore – who himself visited New York for St Patrick’s Day, shortly after the new government took office – will deputise for Kenny in the Dáil today and tomorrow.