Green aplenty for Ireland Day at NYSE
WALL STREET was flooded with green ties yesterday as the second successive Ireland Day took place at the New York Stock Exchange.
The Taoiseach was on hand to ring the opening bell on the floor of the exchange, while upstairs in a conference room over 200 delegates attended the launch of Ireland INC, a lobby group promoted by Business Finance publisher Ian Hyland.
The cost of attending the day-long event was $1,000 per person. According to its explanatory material, Ireland Inc will “aggressively promote the Irish American business voice within the halls of government with the ultimate aim of the creation and maintenance of real and meaningful authority and influence for all participants”.
Ireland Inc, which is tied in with the IABA as part of the Business Finance group, will host a number of summit-style events and dinners over the coming months, including a meeting of the “inaugural advisory group” in New York in April, a “Chicago meeting” in July and the first “Ireland Day Asia Pacific” in Shanghai in October.
Mr Hyland’s company Moranna, which used to publish Business Finance magazine, ceased trading early last year owing more than €500,000 to its preferential creditors.
This included €142,000 owned to the Revenue Commissioners, which Mr Hyland subsequently said would be fully discharged over an agreed period.
F5 Communications (Ireland) Ltd had been publishing Business Finance since the beginning of 2011.
Asked how the initiative would influence events in Washington, Mr Hyland said Ireland Inc would fund lobbying by “engaging with existing lobbyists” on Capitol Hill.
“In time will move in that direction? Probably, yes,” he said.
Those attending were offered an opportunity to become one of four founding patrons of Ireland INC at a cost of $125,000.
Among the perks of becoming a founding patron were the “cachet of founding the official voice of Irish business in the USA”, a “significant profile in Washington DC and NYC” and official sponsorship of IrelandInc.com
Other options were also offered, ranging from “Platinum Patron” at a cost of $75,000, down to “Friend Sponsor” at $5000.
The list of attendees was predominantly Irish, with representatives from AL Goodbody, Aer Lingus, Arthur Cox, Matheson Ormsby Prentice, Mason Hayes and Curran, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Elan, Grant Thornton, National Irish Bank, PwC Ireland, The Doyle Collection and Business and Finance Media Group.
Many of these companies also sponsored the event.
The American firms represented included BNY Mellon, Citigroup, General Mills, Digital Realty and Mutual of America.
Denis O’Brien of Digicel, Tony O’Reilly jnr of Providence Resources, Brett Desmond of consultancy firm DAON and former Irish international rugby player Alan Quinlan, who was representing Titan Marketing, were also present.
Mr Hyland said a date for Ireland Day 2013 has yet to be confirmed but it would go ahead.
A spokeswoman for the NYSE said she was unable to confirm next year’s event at this early stage.