The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Elisha McCallion, is to attend a special reception being held in the White House to mark St Patrick’s Day, on the invitation of the US President Barrack Obama.
This is the first time a Mayor from the city has been invited to the event, and Councillor McCallion is among a number of high profile political figures from across the country who will join the president for the annual celebration, which takes place this year on Tuesday March 15.
Speaking ahead of the trip Cllr McCallion said: “It’s a real honour to be among the invited guests for this special celebration of America’s relationship with Ireland. It’s a fantastic opportunity to represent the district and to further strengthen relations between our two countries.
“I will be carrying such a positive message about what Derry and Strabane has to offer, and the visit provides the chance to identify new champions for the region based on our common interests and the many resources we have to offer. The historic bonds shared by our two countries provide the perfect platform for future partnerships and new investment opportunities in our district.”
The Irish delegation is traditionally headed up by the Irish Taoiseach who presents his US counterpart and the First Lady with a gift of shamrocks, a tradition dating back to President Harry Truman. Even the Fountain at the White House is now turned green for the celebrations which celebrate the historic bond and ongoing support of the US in Irish affairs.