SOURCE: City of San Jose, California

City of San Jose, California

City of San Jose, California

March 09, 2011 15:24 ET

San Jose and Dublin Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Sister City Linkage

Business Development, Sharks Hockey and San Jose Culture Highlight Delegation's Visit; President and Executive Director of Irish Technology Leadership Group, John Hartnett, to Be Honored at Irish Week Finale: The Annual Spirit of Ireland Gala

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - March 9, 2011) - The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councilor Gerry Breen, and a sister city delegation of Dublin government, business and university officials will visit San Jose March 9-13 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the San Jose-Dublin Sister City affiliation.

Established in 1986, the San Jose & Dublin Sister City relationship was initiated by then Mayor of San Jose, Tom McEnery, and the former Prime Minister of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, then Lord Mayor of Dublin. The program, known as "twinning" in Ireland, has evolved over the years to be one of the strongest sister city linkages worldwide and develops cultural, economic, artistic and sporting ties between San Jose/Silicon Valley and Dublin.

"I'd like to once again welcome our friends from Dublin to San Jose," said Mayor Chuck Reed. "The business and cultural ties that we've developed over the past 25 years have helped transform both of our cities into global centers of innovation and entrepreneurship," said Mayor Chuck Reed.

Lord Mayor Breen will be accompanied by Deputy Lord Mayor Edie Wynne, Councilor Mary Freehill, Deputy City Manager Philip Maguire, Peter Finnegan of the City of Dublin, President Imelda Reynolds and CEO Gina Quin of the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Pat Frain of University College Dublin, Tom Flanagan of the Dublin Institute of Technology, Ian Brunswick of Trinity College Dublin and Dr. Stephen Brennan of the Digital Hub Development Agency.

To kick off the delegation's visit, the San Jose-Dublin Sister City Committee will host a welcome event, a traditional Irish breakfast, to be emceed by KRON-TV anchorwoman, Catherine Heenan, beginning at 7:30 a.m., Thurs., March 10, at the Capital Club, 50 W. San Fernando St.

The welcome breakfast will be followed by a flag-raising ceremony 10 a.m., on the plaza of the San Jose City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St. Designed by Richard Meier, the 18-story building will serve a contemporary backdrop to the annual ceremonial proceedings that included the San Jose Police Department Color Guard, and the student choir from San Jose's St. John Vianney Catholic School.

In addition to a meeting with Mayor Reed, members of the City Council, and City Manager Debra Figone, and with executives from Silicon Valley companies, the delegation will attend a San Jose Sharks game and participate in a pre-game ceremony. 

"For a quarter of a century, the strong partnerships between Dublin and San Jose continue to provide opportunities for officials and citizens to create an atmosphere in which economic and cultural development can be implemented and strengthened," said San Jose Councilmember Nancy Pyle, who is also the current chairwoman of the San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program. "Now, more than ever, the cultural, educational, municipal and business exchanges between San Jose and Dublin will ensure relevance and vibrancy of the relationship for years to come," said Pyle.

San Jose and Dublin: Innovation Is Key
According to Kim Walesh, director of Economic Development, City of San Jose, Silicon Valley mainstays such as Adobe, Cisco Systems, eBay, Flextronics, IBM and Xilinx have a presence in Ireland and have benefitted from the ongoing relationship between Dublin and San Jose. 

"San Jose is our nation's most international city. Our people and companies succeed by being in relationship with people, companies, and investors from all around the world -- whether interacting on our soil or theirs, whether innovating in the real world or virtual world. San Jose and Dublin reflect an especially powerful, longstanding, and strengthening relationship," said Walesh.

As a testament to that linkage, San Jose welcomed the opening in 2010 of the Irish Innovation Center, located Downtown San Jose's San Pedro Square at 189 W. Santa Clara St. The facility serves as a beachhead for Irish and European cleantech and software communications companies looking to build a presence in the United States. 

Technology and Innovation Trademark of Spirit of Ireland Honoree
The delegation's visit will be capped by the Spirit of Ireland Award Dinner, 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 12, at the San Jose Marriott, 301 S. Market St. The dinner honors those individuals and/or organizations whose accomplishments have exemplified the relationship between San Jose/Silicon Valley and Ireland. This year's recipient of the Sister City Committee's Spirit of Ireland Award will be John Hartnett, President and Founder, Irish Technology Leadership Group.

A native of Limerick with more than 20 years of senior management experience across sales, marketing, and operations in the U.S. and Ireland with companies such as Palm, Handspring, AT&T, Digital Equipment and Wang, Hartnett established the Irish Technology Leadership Group in 2007 to support US technology companies based in Ireland, as well as support the growth and development of start-up Irish technology companies seeking to leverage both the U.S. marketplace and technology investment community. ITLG also serves an advisory role to the Irish Government to help raise the profile of "brand Ireland." 

Other recipients of the Spirit of Ireland Award have included T.J. Rogers of Cypress Semiconductor, Gordon Moore of Intel, John Lewis of Amdahl, Nobel Peace Prize recipient John Hume, and President Bill Clinton as well as The National Theatre of Ireland (The Abbey Theatre) and the San Jose Repertory Theatre. 

For more information about the San Jose and Dublin Sister City program, please visit,

About San Jose's Sister City Program
San Jose was among the first cities in the United States to establish a sister city affiliation. San Jose's sister city affiliation with Okayama, Japan, established on May 26, 1957, was the third sister city affiliation following the inception of the national Sister Cities program in 1956. San Jose has seven sister cities: Okayama, Japan (1957); San Jose, Costa Rica (1961); Veracruz, Mexico (1975); Tainan, Taiwan (1977); Dublin, Ireland (1986); Pune, India (1992); and Ekaterinburg, Russia (1992). Each sister city affiliation is part of San Jose's rich history and represents a bond between the city and people of San Jose with the city and people of our sister city.

The City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development (OED), part of the San Jose Office of the City Manager, catalyzes job and revenue growth, assists business success, connects employers with trained workers, and enhances cultural amenities. For more information, please visit,

From its founding in 1777 as California's first city, San Jose has been a leader, driven by its spirit of innovation. Today, San Jose stands as the largest city in Northern California and the Capital of Silicon Valley -- the world's leading center of innovation. The city, the 10th largest in the U.S., is committed to remaining a top-ranked place to do business, to work and to live. For more information, visit,

Contact Information

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    Steven Brewster
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