A high-powered delegation of New York legislators is to take part in the Belfast Homecoming from 7-10 October.
That was confirmed on St Patrick's Day by Rep Mike Cusick, President of the American Irish Legislators Society, who was speaking after a visit to Albany, NY, last week by Homecoming Host Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.
"Members of the New York State Legislature will attend the Belfast Homecoming as part of a wider visit to Ireland which would give us the opportunity not only to deepen our bonds of heritage and history between our peoples but to explore mutually beneficial opportunities for economic co-operation between our countries and regions," said Rep Cusick. "New Yorkers have always been key allies of the peace process in Northern Ireland and this visit would enable legislators to affirm their determination to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the peacemakers."
Among prominent legislators who have pledged support for the Homecoming visit are Reps Mike Fitzpatrick, Brian Kavanagh, Alec Brook-Krasny and Mickey Kearns.
"It was a privilege to be introduced on the floor of the New York Assembly and to brief state representatives on the inexorable rise of Belfast," said Máirtín O Muilleoir. "I have no doubt Belfast will roll out the red — or should that be green — carpet for our New York visitors."
The second annual Belfast Homecoming will take place at a variety of venues across Belfast including Titanic Belfast and will feature 150 Diaspora leaders engaging with 150 local champions from business, culture and community sectors to build a better Belfast.