STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
GOV. MAURA HEALEY is scheduled to address the Irish Senate next week, and her first international gubernatorial travel plans also feature a series of business and commerce events alongside two Cabinet secretaries and other state officials, the governor’s office announced Tuesday afternoon.
Healey’s trip to Dublin coincides with Ireland’s 30-year anniversary of decriminalizing homosexuality and the 60th-anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s visit to the country, which Healey’s office said “launched a new era of economic and cultural partnership between the United States and Ireland, particularly around trade and investment.”
“As the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Irish immigrants and the first openly LGBTQ+ governor of Massachusetts, I’m honored to have been invited to address Seanad Éireann about the importance of developing our economic ties, standing up for our values and protecting the rights of everyone in our communities,” Healey said of the Irish Senate in a statement. “I’m excited to meet with Ireland’s renowned business, technology, clean energy and education leaders to share with them all that Massachusetts has to offer – from our world-class education and research institutions to our cutting-edge biotechnology and clean energy sectors to our commitment to protecting civil rights and freedom – and why they should expand their activities here.”
Healey’s office did not provide dates and times for when she will meet with Irish leaders, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (prime minister), Tánaiste Micheál Martin (minister for foreign affairs and minister for defense), and Cathaoirleach Jerry Buttimer (chair of the Senate), and the Irish parliament’s LGBTQI+ caucus. It’s also unclear when Healey will meet with US Ambassador Claire Cronin, the former House majority leader, who invited her to Ireland.
Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll will serve as acting governor from Sunday, June 25, when Healey departs, until her return on Friday, June 30.
Healey is expected to speak to the Irish Senate at 10 a.m. EST Tuesday, with her remarks available via livestream.
“I am delighted to welcome Governor Healey to Ireland,” Cronin said in a statement. “She will mark an historic occasion in Ireland’s civil rights journey, celebrate 60 years since the visit of President John F Kennedy, and build upon the strong and growing trade relationship between the US and Ireland.”
The trip’s price tag for the administration is still being determined, a spokesperson for Healey said. The administration, the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative are expected to cover various parts of the bill. But university leaders, as well as individuals from MassTech and the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, are responsible for their travel costs — not the state, the spokesperson said.
Four Healey staffers will accompany the governor, the spokesperson said, including her senior executive assistant and scheduler, director of operations, director of communications, and director of speechwriting.
Healey’s first scheduled event Monday is a closed-press business roundtable hosted by Enterprise Ireland, a government agency that supports business development and growth in world markets, according to its website. Also attending are Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper, Economic Development Secretary Yvonne Hao, Undersecretary for Economic Strategies Sarah Stanton, MassTech Collaborative Executive Director Carolyn Kirk, and Massachusetts Competitive Partnership President and CEO Jay Ash.
Healey, Tepper, Hao, Stanton, Kirk and Ash are slated to attend a tech business roundtable hosted by HubSpot on Tuesday that’s open to press.
In a closed-press event later Tuesday, Healey is scheduled to attend an event with Irish officials and business leaders that celebrates 60 years of trade and investment between the United States and Ireland. The American Chamber of Commerce in Dublin and the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs are hosting the event, according to Healey’s office.
Healey’s itinerary for Wednesday includes a clean tech, energy and sustainability roundtable hosted by UMass Lowell. She’s scheduled to be joined by Tepper, Hao, Stanton, Kirk, Ash, UMass President Marty Meehan, UMass Lowell Chancellor Julie Chen, UMass Boston Chancellor Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, Boston University Vice President and Associate Provost for Research Gloria Waters, and Northeastern Provost David Madigan.
Other attendees include the presidents of Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, Technological University Dublin, Dublin City University, Maynooth University, Queens University, University of Limerick, University College Cork and University of Galway, according to Healey’s office.
Healey later Wednesday will participate in a panel and reception called “Homecoming: JFK in Ireland” with Irish officials and JFK Library Foundation representatives, according to her schedule.
Healey has no events scheduled for Thursday, though she’s not slated to depart Dublin until Friday morning.
Former Gov. Charlie Baker went on his first overseas travel mission to Israel in December 2016. No public money was used to finance the six-day trip, which included about a dozen state government officials and 40 private sector representatives.
And former Gov. Deval Patrick’s first trade mission was to China in December 2007 as he sought to “to take advantage of global opportunities,” in the life sciences, clean energy technology and financial services sector.