Virtual Golden Bridges conference attracts record numbers



The 12th Golden Bridges Conference and Awards ceremony took place this week and was held virtually for the first time in its history.

Delegates taking part heard at first-hand how political leaders, business and community representatives and education providers from Ireland North West and Boston in the United States, have been collaborating to share experiences of dealing with the COVID pandemic and preparing for Brexit.

The Conference, which saw over 500 registrations from all over the world, gave what’s been described as an interesting insight into how those living and working in the border region of Donegal, Derry and Strabane are working in partnership to prepare for Brexit, despite the additional challenges of COVID.

The transatlantic conference, which was hosted virtually from the Guildhall in Derry, featured a wide range of influential speakers and delegates from the US and Ireland, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, The Tanaiste and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Charlie McConalogue and Seagate CEO Dave Mosley.

The challenges faced by the Ireland NW region in dealing with the current pandemic was a predominate feature of the conference with inputs and views from various community, cultural and commercial sector representatives from both sides of the Atlantic.

A key element of the conference is the Luncheon Awards ceremony that recognises those in the US who are doing great work to keep strong relationships and connections with Ireland. Among the winners at this year’s events were – Congressman Brendan Boyle; Kathy Savage (David Burke Award); Steve Burke, Irish Cultural Centre; Prof Christine Kinealy; Grace Cotter Regan, President of the Boston College High School; Senator Nick Collins, Massachusetts State Senate; Councilman Frank Baker, Boston City Council; Pádraic McLaughlin, Buncrana and Boston GAA; Mark Porter, Buncrana and Boston businessman and director of the Irish Pastoral Centre, Boston Cancer Fundraising and Connemare Gaels; Joseph Burke, Dep Sec of the Office of International Business Development, Pennsylvania.

The event was jointly coordinated by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council.

The Golden Bridges is held annually in Boston but was held this year virtually from Derry’s Guildhall.

The conference aims to promote partnerships between Ireland Northwest and Boston, Massachusetts and also to highlight various community, business, and education initiatives in the two regions by bringing together influential business and political leaders.
For members of the public who weren’t able to attend on the day – they can watch back via the following link –