Members of the global Irish community were reminded that they can play a pivotal role in Ireland’s future at a special recognition event in Dublin Convention Centre yesterday  ahead of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon.

Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan TD, and ConnectIreland, the company responsible for delivering the government’s Succeed in Ireland programme in association with IDA Ireland, welcomed home hundreds of members of Ireland’s diaspora yesterday as part of the International Friendship Run.

Speaking to participants after the run, Minister Deenihan said: “I am delighted to welcome home so many members of the Global Irish Diaspora, demonstrating once more the strong connection between Ireland and its overseas communities. Sporting events like the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle and the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon are perfect platforms for bringing together Ireland’s Diaspora and I hope to build on these events into the future.

The Irish community around the world is one of the best resources that we have in terms of promoting Ireland as a trade, investment, business and tourism destination, with many of them already having become successful connectors between Ireland and overseas companies interested in expanding into and creating jobs in Ireland.”

The returning athletes took part in a short 4km fun run before enjoying breakfast, entertainment and a ministerial address. Many athletes brought their families and friends with them to soak up the atmosphere ahead of the SSE Airtricity Marathon which took place earlier today.

Sonia O’Sullivan, Olympic medallist and ConnectIreland ambassador, led the way on the International Friendship Run before encouraging participants to lead the way to Ireland for expanding international businesses.

Holstphoto Professional Commercial Photography IrelandPictured at the launch are Joanna Murphy, Minister Deenihan and Sonia O’Sullivan.

Joanna Murphy, ConnectIreland CEO, added that the participants should continue to think of Ireland even after they have made their journey home.

“We are delighted to see so many people returning to Ireland for the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon and we would ask that when you leave, don’t forget about Ireland but rather reach out to your network and see if there are opportunities out there for business. Introduce them to us and let our team work with these companies to showcase the many great reasons why Ireland is a no-brainer for business,” added Ms Murphy.

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