SOURCE: City of San Jose, California

March 07, 2008 13:30 ET

San Jose and Dublin, Ireland Today Kick Off the 22nd Anniversary of Their Sister City Relationship at Irish Week Welcome Breakfast

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - March 7, 2008) - The 22nd anniversary of the sister city designation between San Jose, California, and Dublin, Ireland, began today with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed hosting a celebratory kick-off welcome breakfast for the Dublin Lord Mayor Paddy Bourke and members of the San Jose and Dublin Sister City Delegations.

Established in 1986, the San Jose & Dublin Sister City Program relationship was initiated by then Mayor of San Jose, Tom McEnery, and the current Prime Minister of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, then Lord Mayor of Dublin. The program, known as "twinning" in Ireland, has thrived throughout its two-decade existence and develops cultural, economic, artistic and sporting ties between San Jose/Silicon Valley and Dublin.

"We want to again welcome our friends from Dublin to San Jose. Over the two decades of our sister city relationship, both Dublin and San Jose have transformed into global innovation centers with diverse populations from all over the world and creative entrepreneurs and companies," said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed.

Emceed by KRON-TV anchorwoman, Catherine Heenan, the welcome event, a traditional Irish breakfast, was held at the San Jose Museum of Art, in the heart of downtown San Jose. The welcome breakfast -- with the largest Dublin delegation to visit San Jose to date -- was followed by a flag-raising ceremony held a few blocks away on the plaza of the San Jose City Hall. Designed by Richard Meier, the 18-story building served as a contemporary backdrop to the annual ceremonial proceedings that included the San Jose Fire Department and San Jose Police Department Color Guard, and the student choir from San Jose's St. John Vianney Catholic School.

"By developing partnerships between Dublin and San Jose, providing opportunities for their city officials and citizens to experience community partnerships, the San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program strives to create an atmosphere in which economic and cultural development can be implemented and strengthened. Through reciprocal cultural, educational, municipal and business exchanges and projects, we look to continue the significance and relevance of the relationship between San Jose and Dublin," said Shane Patrick Connolly, president of the San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program.

According to Paul Krutko, chief development officer, City of San Jose, Silicon Valley mainstays, such as Adobe, Cadence Design Systems, Cisco Systems, eBay, Flextronics, IBM, Quantum and Xilinx, have an Irish presence.

"Global innovation regions understand that a positive business climate and a strong, well-educated talent pool are necessary to produce high value, forward-thinking products and services. Dublin has been able to create a conducive environment, with a high-level of quality-of-life amenities, that attracts talent and keeps companies thriving. These attributes have brought the world to Dublin and is maintaining the city's status as being a top technological center within the European Union. Likewise, this recipe has kept San Jose tops in talent attraction and company incubation and retention," Krutko said.

To further that spirit of innovation and deepen economic and cultural ties, the Dublin delegation will also take part in the Spirit of Ireland Award Dinner, 6:30 p.m., Saturday, March 8, at the San Jose Athletic Club, 196 N. Third Street.

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 will be John Hannegan, a community leader. A native Californian with ancestral roots in Ireland, Hannegan's association with Ireland started with rugby and recreational trips from 1972-1988. In 1988, he joined the San Jose-Dublin Sister City Program with Ray O'Flaherty, Dan McFadden and Dan McTeague and was elected its president in 1996. Hannegan has also served on the All-Ireland Chamber of Commerce Board and was involved with instituting the Los Gatos-Listowel Sister City Program with Deputy Jimmy Deenihan T.D. of Kerry, Ireland.

Since 1988, Hannegan has entertained Irish delegates, corporate groups and other distinguished notables including Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume and the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, the Honorable Bertie Ahern. C. B. Hannegan's of Los Gatos, a business John started in 1980, has been a frequent stop for visiting Irish delegates, students and traveling businessmen.

Other recipients of the Spirit of Ireland Award have included 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 tickets to the Spirit of Ireland Award Dinner, visit,

About the City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development

The City of San Jose's Office of Economic Development (OED) is committed to a vital, competitive San Jose economy that increases prosperity for people and companies and enhances City revenues. The Office guides the City's economic strategy, provides assistance for business success, helps connect employers with trained workers, and provides art, sporting and cultural resources to our community. For more information, please visit,

About the City of San Jose

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, work, live, play and learn. For more information, visit,

Contact Information

  • Steven Brewster
    408-535-8168 office