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Aer Lingus begins flying direct from Cleveland to Dublin in a few days
Among the first passengers on the new direct route from Cleveland to Dublin from Aer Lingus that debuts on Friday, May 19 will be a who's who of local elected officials and civic leaders on a four-day trip.
Mayor Justin Bibb, Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne, Cleveland City Council President Blaine Griffin, Cuyahoga County Council President Pernel Jones, leadership from Team NEO, members of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, JobsOhio reps, and employees from Huntington Bank and Eaton will embark on an economic development mission.
"The elected and civic leaders in this delegation demonstrated the leadership necessary to make this service happen,” said Team NEO Chief Executive Officer Bill Koehler. “We are grateful for their collective effort that enables this opportunity. When private and public sector communities work together, we can drive growth and prosperity throughout the region and create a more vibrant economy.”
The assembled Cleveland delegation will have a stacked itinerary, meeting with the U.S. Embassy on trade issues, gladhand the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, meet with Dublin City Council, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, engage with Irish businesses and more. They'll also "meet with the Mayor of County Mayo and other civic officials to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the official twinning of Achill Island and the City of Cleveland. The two have a long and close relationship dating back to the 19th century, when many Irish people emigrated to the United States, many of them settling in Cleveland/Irishtown Bend," according to a press release.
The trip will undoubtedly become ammo for those who've complained about Mayor Bibb's frequent travel, and Fox 8
has already billed it as a taxpayer-funded vacation. ("It also shows time to travel to the capital of Ireland," the station reported with what we assume to be nefarious tones. "The agenda says that includes a dinner reception at a pub. A pub that has helped a non-profit group in Cleveland."!)
Ronayne, when asked by the station why so many, including staff, are going, said, "You see public and private sector travelers making these trips to stir up business opportunities in their communities, and I’m bullish on Cuyahoga County," noting the delegation will sell Cleveland as a destination for Irish travelers and create relationships on the business side.
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