Council trip to the US costs €11k

Council trip to the US costs €11k
Cork City Lord Mayor Mick Finn signing a co-operation agreement with City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

CORK City Council footed a bill of just under €11,400 for the Lord Mayor-led nine-day delegation trip to the US in March.

The trip took in New York, San Francisco (a sister city to Cork), Miami, and Fort Pierce in Florida between March 1-9.

Lord Mayor Mick Finn was accompanied by one staff member in New York, who was replaced by another in San Francisco.

The city council’s chief executive, Ann Doherty, joined the trip in Miami.

Flights for the Lord Mayor cost €1,301, with accommodation costs coming to €2,223 for the duration of the trip. Lord Mayor Finn claimed no subsistence costs during the trip.

Staff travel, accommodation, and subsistence amounted to €4,300, while corporate gifts, entertainment and other expenses amounted to €1,009.

Lord Mayor Finn said costs were kept to a minimum and he described the trip as a successful one which he believes will yield benefits for Cork city — both economically and culturally.

“There’s an annual trip to New York and San Francisco because of twinning arrangements so I was keen to do this all in one go to minimise costs. It was a hectic schedule over nine days with all the travelling,” he told The Echo.

“In New York, we supported the Cork Association which has been going since 1884 and has been helping Irish people with jobs and accommodation. They have a business development aspect to the association which is actively focusing on Cork.

“We partook in the Rockaway St Patrick’s Day Parade and we met people who are piloting a modular housing business in Limerick and that has led to calls from people in Cork who are interested and are involved in housing associations.

“In San Francisco, we met the new mayor, London Breed, for the first time. We discussed education initiatives and infrastructure and transport.

“We also met with [cloud computing company] Salesforce, a company locating in Dublin, and they are expanding. We made a case for Cork around the new Docklands area and they looked at that very favourably.”

The Lord Mayor also visited Dress for Success — a non-profit organisation that helps women get into the workforce, with offices in both Cork and New York.

Cruise liner tourism was discussed in Port Miami, which is regarded as the cruise capital of the world.

The delegation also met with a network of Miami based Irish-American business representatives and Miami City Officials to discuss the potential development of a sister city agreement with Miami.

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