Monaghan Delegation’s Visit to New York for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations

For the first time in five years, an official delegation from Monaghan County Council visited New York for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The delegation was led by Cathaoirleach Councillor David Maxwell accompanied by the Chief Executive who met with members of the Monaghan Diaspora in New York. They held a series of meetings with key strategic partners and participated in events to showcase all that County Monaghan has to offer economically and culturally as well as promoting the county as a place to visit, invest and do business.  The official delegation from Monaghan County Council which also included Liam Bradley, Curator of the Monaghan County Museum, was joined on the visit by members of Monaghan GAA, including chairperson, Declan Flanagan and vice chairperson Brendan Casey, along with representatives of Enterprising Monaghan, Finbarr Daly CEO and board member, Paul Shortt.  A number of prominent businesspeople from County Monaghan were also present on the trip, including Martin McVicar, Managing Director of Combilift; Ciaran Marron, CEO of Activ8 Energies; Sammy Leslie, Owner of Castle Leslie and Trustee of the Leslie Foundation; Michael Mullan, Director of Mullan Lighting; Simon Murray, Director of CameraMatics, and; Barry Murray, Director of Universal Graphics.


The centrepiece event of the visit was the inaugural meeting of the Monaghan – New York Business Network which was held on 15th March, in which business and civic leaders from New York, the wider USA, Monaghan and other parts of Ireland came together to explore opportunities for business investment, job creation and tourism in Monaghan. It was also an opportunity for Monaghan-based businesses to look at the potential of investing in or exporting to the USA. Many Monaghan businesses already have a presence in the USA and the event presented an opportunity for them to strengthen their links with clients and customers and potentially expand in the US market.

The first of what it is hoped will be many meetings of the Monaghan – New York Business Network took place at the NYC Hub Bank of Ireland at 2 Grand Central Tower in Manhattan. The event was attended by over 100 guests including business and civic leaders from the County Monaghan delegation and a wide range of people in business or active in the community based in New York who are from Monaghan, are of Monaghan descent or who simply have an affinity with the county.  The MC for the event was Finbarr Daly, CEO of Enterprising Monaghan.

Martin McVicar who is Managing Director and co-founder of Combilift in Monaghan town and Ciaran Marron, CEO and founder of Activ8 Solar Energies in Carrickmacross attended the event and spoke about starting out in business and their positive experience of setting up and expanding their businesses in Monaghan and highlighting to the audience that being a very enterprising county, Monaghan is an excellent location to invest and in which to do business. Ciara Gormley, SEO Manager at Justworks, who is based in New York and originally from Castleblayney, spoke of her experience of being in business in the city and her career journey from County Monaghan to the USA. Also present at the event was Aidan McKenna, Enterprise Ireland Regional Director for the Americas, who is based in New York and originally from Emyvale.

The event was addressed by the Cathaoirleach Cllr David Maxwell and Robert Burns, Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council who both emphasised the benefits of doing business in the county. They introduced a video that that showcased a range of successful businesses in the advanced manufacturing, agri-food and renewable energy sectors that are already located in Monaghan. Thereby demonstrating why County Monaghan is a great business location, providing access to a strong cluster of existing industries, a culture of entrepreneurship, a well-educated workforce and a gateway to the EU and the UK markets.

The cultural partnership between Project Children and Monaghan County Council was also promoted at the event and present was Denis Mulcahy, the Co-founder and Chairman of Project Children, his family and ambassadors for the project in the USA. This recently announced cultural partnership between Project Children and Monaghan County Council will see Project Children’s archive hosted at the Peace Campus in Monaghan town. The 50th anniversary of the founding of Project Children will be celebrated in Monaghan next year.

The event was organised by Catherine Flood and Linda Croston of Croston Flood Recruiting, Consulting and Events, a firm based in New York. Catherine Flood is well known in New York business circles and is originally from Truagh in County Monaghan.

Commenting on the event and the visit by the wider Monaghan delegation, Cathaoirleach, Councillor David Maxwell, said, “I am delighted with the turnout at the business network event which was a huge success with a lot of positive feedback and I hope that it will be the first of many such events that will help strengthen social, economic and cultural ties between Monaghan and New York. It was a massive boost to have businesspeople of the calibre of Martin McVicar and Ciaran Marron speak to the audience at the event about their positive experience of doing business in County Monaghan and to be accompanied on this visit by a range of impressive people doing great work in business, sporting and cultural life in Monaghan.”

There was a busy schedule of meetings and events for the Monaghan County Council and the Enterprising Monaghan delegations, including meetings with Irish state agencies based in New York including the Industrial Development Authority (IDA), Enterprise Ireland, Bord Bia and Tourism Ireland, as well as a meeting with the Irish Consulate in New York.

During the visit, the wider Monaghan delegation met with the Monaghan Society and representatives of Rocklands GAA Club in New York State in order to renew and strengthen social, sporting and cultural links with the Monaghan community based in New York. The wider Monaghan delegation also had the privilege of attending the traditional St. Patrick’s Day mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and marching with the Monaghan Society in the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the longest-running parade in the world celebrating Ireland’s patron saint and all things Irish.

Robert Burns, Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council, said, “We are extremely happy with our visit to New York and what we have achieved over what was a busy few days.  We have renewed and strengthened ties with the Monaghan community based in New York and promoted County Monaghan as a premier location for inward investment and as an ideal base for US companies to launch into both the EU and UK. Coupled with that we envisage that Monaghan businesses will continue to grow their exports to the US with the support of the Irish State agencies based there.”