Question to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Mr. Pat Rabbitte, TD)
To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will report on his visit to New York and Pittsburgh; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 30th April, 2013.
I visited New York, New Jersey and Pittsburgh for four days just prior to St. Patrick’s Day.
In New York I met with Johnson Controls Inc., leaders in the energy efficiency sector; Verdant Power, an energy tidal company who, working with an Irish engineering company, are considering Ireland as their European manufacturing base; and United Technologies Corporation (UTC), a diversified company that provides a broad range of high-technology products and services. UTC’s European research centre in Cork is focused on research in energy and security and involves an investment of $15m leading to the creation of 40 new jobs. I delivered a speech at the Saint Patrick’s Day Foundation dinner which included key messages on the economy and encouraged the attendance of approximately 500 to celebrate ‘The Gathering’ in Ireland. I joined a panel discussion at the Ireland Day in the New York Stock Exchange; attended the American Ireland Fund Young Leaders annual St. Patrick’s Day event; and delivered a speech at the Ireland US Council lunch.
I travelled to New Jersey and met with Bell Labs, one of the world’s foremost research centres, responsible for breakthroughs that have shaped the networking and communications industry. Bell Labs employs 120 people in Blanchardstown together with the creation of an academic research consortium involving eight Irish universities and Institutes of Technology.
In Pittsburgh I delivered a speech to more than 1,000 guests at the American Ireland Fund dinner alongside Ambassador Dan Rooney, reiterating the message that Ireland is open for business, highlighting key messages on the economy in terms of recovering our financial sovereignty and the strong performance of Ireland in terms of exports and investment to and from the United States and promoted ‘The Gathering’. At a business leaders’ breakfast meeting, I met with Congressman Tim Murphy, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the Pittsburgh City Comptroller Michael Lamb and representatives of a number of companies working in the energy sector. I also attended the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day parade.