I want to extend my congratulations and thanks to Declan Kelly for his work as US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland.
During my tenure as Minister for Foreign Affairs, I worked closely with Declan and saw at his first hand his commitment to bring jobs and investment to Northern Ireland.
His role is an important one in the context of underpinning peace. I know Declan shares my view that the best way to heal the wounds of the past and to move on from old conflicts is to build a better economic future for everyone on this island.
Northern Ireland today is one of the most attractive investment locations in Europe and during Declan’s tenure as Economic Envoy he helped ensure there was significant job creation by US companies.
Declan’s work as Economic Envoy builds on the great work done by his predecessors such as George Mitchell and Jim Lyons.
It is essential that the US Administration fills the position Declan has vacated and that there continues to be a US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland.
I will be urging the Taoiseach to raise this issue as a matter of priority with President Obama when he visits our shores.
In conclusion, I want to thank Declan Kelly again on a job well done and wish him and his family well for the future.