Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council and Ballymacelligott native, Cllr. Pat McCarthy is in the United States promoting Kerry during the course of the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
On Sunday he attended Mass in St. Patrick’s Church and then joined Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in the Philadelphia Parade which was watched by in excess of 200,000 people. He was interviewed live by FOX 29 TV channel and Irish TV in a special programme which will be screened next weekend.
The Cathaoirleach, who is accompanied by John Griffin, Tourism Officer with Kerry County Council, met with former Philadelphia Rose of Tralee representatives and Councillman Bobby Hennon, Majority Leader in the Philadelphia City Council, in City Hall. They discussed Philadelphia police and fire services participation in the Heroes Week Gathering of Emergency Services which will form part of the ‘Tralee 800’ celebrations in mid June.
Later Cllr McCarthy made a courtesy call to Sr. Pauline McShain, heir of the McShain Estate, whose family owned Killarney House and who bequeathed Ross Castle, Lough Leane and Innisfallen Island to the Irish State. Sr. Pauline, who is now approaching 90 years but in good health, asked him to convey her good wishes to the people of Killarney and County Kerry.
Philadelphia Travel Trade
The visit to Philadelphia concluded with a meeting and tourism presentation by John Griffin to the Philadelphia Travel trade jointly hosted with Tourism Ireland, American Airlines and Shannon Airport marketing. American Airlines commence daily direct services from Philadelphia to Shannon in early May and Kerry tourism is set to benefit greatly from the service. Philadelphia is the preferred gateway for residents from the states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Southern New Jersey and Western Maryland which have a combined population in excess of 25 million, of whom 3 million claim Irish ancestry.
Valentia UNESCO Project
The Cathaoirleach is also due to visit Washington DC and will highlight the Valentia UNESCO project with US Chief Scientist and director of NOAA, Dr. Kathy Sullivan, whose ancestors hail from Lauragh near Kenmare. On Thursday Cllr McCarthy will participate in the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade, attend meetings with a number of tourism and public officials and attend the New York Kerryman’s Association Annual Dinner on Saturday evening.