“I’m going to the NC State game tomorrow,” said Mulhall, Ireland’s ambassador to the U.S., during his visit to the Raleigh Chamber. “In Ireland, we’re not used to college sports having the impact they do here. I’m going to have to become an NC State fan from now on.”
Even before he sets foot at Carter-Finley Stadium, Mulhall already is incredibly impressed by what he’s seen from the universities in our region. He spoke at a leadership roundtable with an audience of business and community leaders, elected officials, and economic development executives.
“You have this dynamic Triangle and there is a lot happening here,” said Mulhall.
He spoke not only about the university ecosystem, but also the talent in our region, our industries, and the quality of life.
“This area is increasingly becoming a place that Irish companies coming to the U.S. will want to locate,” said Mulhall.
He told the audience that he’s heard about what has been happening in the Triangle and one of his priorities was visiting our area to see it firsthand.
“From the very beginning, we knew in Ireland that America was a special place,” said Mulhall. “We want to explore America in its diversity and look for the opportunities that are there all over the country.”
Mulhall said, in recent decades, Ireland’s economy has been revolutionized by foreign direct investment. As he looks for opportunities across America, he sees a great opportunity in the Triangle.
“Not everything happens in places like New York, Boston, and San Francisco,” he said. “This is a great place to live, with its talent, quality of life, and education.”
Mulhall said the U.S. and Ireland already have a deep, complex, and mutually beneficial economic relationship and he wants to see that relationship flourish further.
“I’d like to see us connect more together so we don’t miss opportunities here and you don’t miss opportunities in Ireland,” he said.
After the event, Michael Haley, executive director for Wake County Economic Development, said he was impressed by the similarities between the Triangle and the Republic of Ireland.
“We have similarities in the areas of talent, advanced industries, and high tech,” said Haley. “That means more partnership opportunities between us.”
Also following the discussion, Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Jessica Holmes and Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane presented Ambassador Mulhall with a photo of the Raleigh skyline.
We join Holmes and McFarlane in expressing our sincere gratitude to Mulhall for spending time experiencing Raleigh and the Triangle, and for sharing his great perspective and insight with us.
As for the football game, NC State Football saw our comment on Twitter about him attending the game and responded, “Happy to have you! We’ll supply the BBQ, you supply the Irish luck!”
We know the ambassador will enjoy his first college football game, just like he enjoyed his first visit to the Triangle.