Governance and Administration

Cork County Council Government Trade and Tourism Delegation

Delegations from Cork County will visit three US cities; Chicago, Detroit and New York as part of the St. Patrick’s Day festival, a global event which attracts levels of publicity and media attention unmatched by the national day of any other country and provides a unique opportunity to promote the Cork region from both a tourism and investment perspective.

The focus of the delegations will be both to promote Cork as an attractive destination with top class visitor attractions, conference facilities and amenities as well as continuing to strengthen the connections between County Cork and the United States, such as building upon existing agreements between Cook County (sistership agreement in its 25th year) and the City of Detroit (friendship agreement), aimed at fostering international cooperation programmes together with exploring the significant potential to boost tourism, investment and trade through collaboration between both regions.

In Chicago, the Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn will lead a delegation from Cork County which includes the Chief Executive of Visit Cork and representatives of the Irish Hotels Federation Cork Branch including President Michael Magner, in view of the significant focus on tourism promotion.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Cork County Cook County Sistership agreement. Etablished in 1999, this sistership agreement is the longest standing international relationship in Cook County. Cook County is the most populous county in the U.S. state of Illinois and the second-most-populous county in the States (5.2 million) while Chicago is the third most populous city in the U.S (2.7 million). In 2021, the USA was Ireland’s largest export market, with exports valued at just over €52 billion. There are significant levels of trade between Ireland and the USA, with over 889 IDA-supported American companies located in Ireland, across all sectors. There are 122 IDA supported American companies located in Cork, including prominent multinationals such as Pfizer, Janssen, Johnson Controls, Gilead Sciences, Eli Lilly, Dell EMC etc.

Over the last two decades, the Cook County Cork County agreement has served to foster international trade and develop and strengthen relations between companies, institutions, organisations and individual entrepreneurs, particularly in the Information Technology, Biotechnology and Tourism sectors. One of the key fruits of this collaborative partnership was the establishment of the Cork Convention Bureau in 2007.

In New York, the delegation will participate in the city’s parade, address the Cork New York Association and carry out other formal engagements including meeting with representatives from the Tourism Ireland and the Consul General, ensuring that Cork’s abundant offering is promoted extensively.

In Detroit, a number of engagements centre around Corktown, aptly named after Cork County, together with meetings with Tourism operators and a variety of media opportunities.

The delegation's key mission is to maximise the potential of the links already forged while continuing to expand opportunities between Cork County and the United States. Cork is now competing on a global stage and continuing to build international relationships is fundamental to economic success.

Chicago Itinerary

Wednesday March 13th

7.40AM Depart Cork

6.00PM Welcome Reception

Thursday, March 14th

8.45AM Meeting with Consul General Kevin Byrne

10.00AM Meeting with President Preckwinkle – Cook County Board of Commissioners

1.00PM Working Holiday Authorisation Meeting

7.00PM Mayoral Reception Cork County Cook County

Friday March 15th

8.00AM Irish American Partnership Breakfast

11.00AM Mercy Homes

1.00PM GAA Chicago Meeting

5.00PM Reception Plumbers Union

6.00PM Irish Fellowship Dinner

Saturday March 16th

9.00AM Mass Old St. Patrick’s Church

11.00AM River Chicago Dying

12.15PM Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade

2.30PM Mercy Homes Post Parade Event

Sunday March 17th

12.00PM Mass Theatre on the Lake and Community Event

Monday March 18th

4.00PM Depart

New York Itinerary

Friday March 15th

7.40AM Depart Cork

5.00PM Reception hosted by Helena Nolan Consul General of Ireland

Saturday March 16th

8.30AM St. Patrick’s Day Mass

11.00AM New York Parade

6.00PM Cork Association Dinner

Monday March 18th

12.30PM Business Meeting with Cork BP & P Association

Tuesday March 19th

10.30AM Meeting with Consul General Ms. Helena Nolan

12.00PM Meeting with Tourism Ireland

14.30PM Meeting with IDA

Wednesday March 20th

5.00PM Depart

Detroit Itinerary

Friday, March 8th 2024

6.30AM Cork

4.00PM Reception in Corktown Detroit

Saturday, March 9th 2024

6.45AM Fox News Live Interview

4.45PM Meeting with Mayor Kip Walby

7.30PM Meeting with Bayview Yach Club

Sunday March 10th

10.30AM Mass Holy Trinity Church

11.30PM Meeting with Representatives from City of Detroit and Wayne County

12.30PM St. Patrick’s Day Parade

4.00PM Meet and Green with Detroit Irish Community Representatives

Monday March 11th

10.30AM Meeting with Mayor of the City of Detroit Mike Duggan

3.00PM Meeting with Ketchum Productions

Tuesday March 12th

8.30AM Meeting with CEO Michigan Central Train Station

10.15AM Meeting with Claudia Rea, Former Queen of Detroit

6.30PM Depart

Delegate List and Costs

Delegates Chicago

  • Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn
  • Councillor Gillian Coughlan
  • Councillor Noel McCarthy
  • Councillor Ian Doyle
  • Michael Lynch, Deputy Chief Executive, Cork County Council
  • Nicola Radley, Director of Services, Cork County Council
  • Karina Cremin, Senior Executive Officer, Cork County Council
  • Lisa O'Riordan, Communications Manager, Cork County Council

Delegates New York

  • Councillor Alan Coleman
  • Councillor Mary Linehan Foley
  • Valerie O’Sullivan, Chief Executive Cork County Council
  • Patricia Liddy, Director of Services

Delegates Detroit

  • Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Healy
  • Councillor John Paul O’Shea
  • Nicola Radley Director of Services
  • Mags Donovan Senior Staff Officer Cork County Council


Flights - €26,800.40

Hotels - €23,409.00