05 Dec 2021

Boston and Ireland Northwest join forces in virtual Golden Bridges conference

Building bridges for over a decade

Boston and Ireland Ireland Northwest join forces in virtual Golden Bridges conference

The highly anticipated 12th annual Golden Bridges Conference and Awards ceremony returns on November 20 from 1.30pm to 6pm, Irish standard time.

Golden Bridges aims to promote partnerships between Ireland Northwest and Boston, Massachusetts and also to highlight various community, business, and education initiatives in the two regions by bringing together influential business and political leaders.

The event is being coordinated by Donegal County Council and Derry City and Strabane District Council and will take place virtually, broadcasting live from the Guildhall, Derry.

Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council, Rena Donaghey, noted that in light of the challenges facing both regions, the Golden Bridges event is more important than ever: "This year's Golden Bridges will showcase the very best of the Northwest region to an audience of influential Irish American business and political leaders.

"In the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by Covid-19 and Brexit, the region has spearheaded a strong and unique strategic partnership, demonstrating unity and co-operation across many areas. We have seen the extraordinary resilience of our businesses and community leaders in recent months in the Northwest and Golden Bridges will serve as a platform to showcase these initiatives and profile our regional offering to delegates across the Atlantic. It is more important than ever that we extend our connections to incite new opportunities for regional economic development."

Director of Economic Development at Donegal County Council, Garry Martin, highlighted the importance of harnessing linkages between the Northwest region of Ireland and the Irish-American community. He said: "The Golden Bridges Conference has a long and distinguished history and is one of the most significant events in the Irish-American calendar which is evident in the high caliber of speakers and programme content delivered each year.

"Together with our partners at Derry City and Strabane District Council, we have fostered a robust economic alliance over the years and we want to continue building our links at home and abroad to build greater regional economic prosperity."

He said that the north west harnesses a vibrant business, education, tourism and cultural community. "Golden Bridges will enable us to showcase these initiatives while also forging mutually beneficial links with influential leaders in Boston, Massachusetts. This year, with the event being held online, we hope that more people than ever can join us in exploring and enhancing our transatlantic ties.  Golden Bridges 2020, featuring a comprehensive programme of prominent leaders, will serve to showcase the Northwest region as a location of choice for investment, tourism, education and culture."

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Brian Tierney, said the event would provide a positive platform for north west businesses seeking out inspiration and opportunities:"The Golden Bridges Conference is always a key date in our business diary, providing an opportunity to forge valuable business connections and augment the strong network of partnerships we have established over the years. While this year's event will occupy a different stage, it will still provide a vital chance to amplify the voice of the North West business community and connect with a wider online audience at this very challenging time.

"I'm really looking forward to highlighting the positive work that is ongoing here in the north west city region in the face of these shared economic challenges and also to hear more about the changing business landscape in the US.

"The world has been rocked in recent months and the repercussions are felt on a global level. Golden Bridges will offer us a valuable insight into how we can progress our ambitions for the north west region working in tandem with our transatlantic partners, and provide a forum to share learnings on how to adapt and continue to thrive in the current uncertain economic climate."

Director of Business and Culture with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Stephen Gillespie, said: "The Golden Bridges Conference taps into a wealth of business expertise and experience bringing together some of the most successful and motivational business leaders. There is always a warm welcome for our NW delegates, and our shared cultural and historic ties offer a direct link with the US that sets us on a unique footing with our counterparts in Boston and beyond.

"This year I'm looking forward to exploring new and innovative economic strategies with our partners at the conference, and to discussing some of the major issues that are impacting on our key industries including Brexit and Covid-19. It will be an opportunity to gain new perspectives and strengthen the already robust alliances that will help us chart the pathway to more prosperous, more progressive times."

The conference will be followed by an annual awards luncheon recognizing influential figures in the US who are renowned for their work in developing and advancing Irish-American connections.

To register for Golden Bridges or view the event programme visit

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