Irish American Partnership hears of Kerry woes; sets awards for 5 schools

The Irish American Partnership used the occasion of a visit to Boston by Kerry Co. Mayor Michael O’Shea last month for a roundtable discussion about economic growth in the west of Ireland to announce Partnership grants to five Kerry schools.

O’Shea and Kerry Tourism Officer John Griffin were in Boston to promote tourism, trade, education, and direct foreign investment in the county, which has not yet recovered from the devastating effects of the recession.

In recognition of their visit, Partnership Chief Executive Mary Sugrue presented O’Shea with awards totaling $10,000.

O’Shea and Griffin spoke at length about the challenges posed by Ireland’s two-tiered economic recovery, which has left coastal villages along the Western seaboard struggling to survive.

O’Shea commented that the small family farm that was once the mainstay of Kerry life can no longer survive due to rising expenses and the current regulatory climate, and Griffin, noting that that the lack of employment in rural Kerry is annihilating small towns, asked the roundtable guests to consider Kerry should they wish to expand their business or begin an enterprise in Ireland.