President McAleese will visit New York from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd May to attend a series of engagements to commemorate the Irish Famine as well as a number of events to promote Irish-US economic relations and to strengthen links with the Irish community in the city.
The President’s programme will commence on Thursday 20th May when she will attend an event, sponsored by the Irish Voice newspaper and Enterprise Ireland, to honour Irish-Americans in the Life Sciences sector.
On Friday, 21st May the President will attend a breakfast for business leaders at the New York Stock Exchange. This will be followed by a visit to a Brooklyn school where the students are learning about the Great Hunger as part of the New York Famine Curriculum. President McAleese will then formally open a seminar, “Hunger in the 21st Century: Ireland and the fight against famine" organised by Self Help Africa and Concern.
That afternoon, the President will visit the American Irish Historical Society to meet with members of the older Irish community including some centenarians and to mark the first anniversary of Senior Helpline in the US. On Friday evening, President McAleese will open ‘Famine Echoes’, the Quinnipiac University Collection exhibition at the Consulate General of Ireland and address a reception for members of the Irish community.
On Saturday, 22nd May the President will be conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws at Fordham University in the Bronx and deliver the commencement address.
The President’s visit will conclude on Sunday 23rd May with a ceremony at Temple Shearith Israel to mark the generosity of the New York Jewish community to the people of Ireland during the Famine in 1847. The President will also attend a mass celebrated by Archbishop Timothy Dolan in St Patrick’s Cathedral. The visit will culminate on Sunday afternoon with the official New York commemoration of the Famine at the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City.
Mr Pat Carey TD, Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs will also be in attendance.