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Celebrities and business leaders will mass for second Global Irish Forum

Former US president Bill Clinton, economist David McWilliams and actor Gabriel Byrne are among those attending the event next month.

Clinton during a visit to Ireland last year
Clinton during a visit to Ireland last year
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

CELEBRITIES, WRITERS, ECONOMISTS and business leaders will congregate next month for the second Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin.

Former US president Bill Clinton, economist David McWilliams, U2 manager Paul McGuinness and GAA president Christy Cooney will be among those meeting at Dublin Castle on October 7 and 8, along with government leaders and President Mary McAleese.

The first Forum was held at Farmleigh in September 2009, aiming to explore how communities and businesspeople here and in the diaspora could co-operate and work towards Ireland’s economic recovery.

Earlier this year, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore announced that a second forum would be held with members of the Global Irish Network, set up in the wake of the first round of meetings. Other well-known figures set to attend include RTÉ’s Claire Byrne, film-maker Neil Jordan, comedian Dara Ó Briain and writer Colm Tóibín.

Over two days, delegates will debate topics including “Ireland: the Road to Recovery”, “Ireland’s image abroad”, and the best routes to job creation. Bill Clinton will address the meeting on the topic “Ireland and the Global Irish in the 21st Century”, with other speakers including Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and EC secretary-general Catherine Day.

Also on the programme is the unveiling of, an online community for Irish people across the globe.

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Among the proposals to come out of the 2009 Forum was the Certificate of Irish Heritage, an official confirmation of Irish ancestry available to those who do not qualify for full citizenship. The first certificate was posthumously awarded last week to Joseph Hunter, a New York fireman who lost his life in the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks.

Read more: Diaspora will get ‘proof of Irishness’ certificate>

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Michael Freeman

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