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Bianconi 225 Initiative Niall Dennehy

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1 Bianconi 225 Initiative Niall Dennehy

2 Bianconi 225 Initiative Leo Jordan & Jim Spears, both Board Members of the St. Patricks Society of Peoria, agreed in 1997, to look into the matter of having a Sister City in Ireland. Having met with the Head of the Chamber of Commerce, Clonmel, Maureen McNamara, Peoria Mayor Bud Grieves and Clonmel Mayor Vera Hewitt signed paperwork establishing a Sister City relationship between Peoria and Clonmel at the opening of the Erin Feis at the Riverpoint on August 22 nd, 1998.

3 Bianconi 225 Initiative The Friends of Clonmel organisation was established on January26, 1999, the purpose of which was to promote a mutual understanding of each others cultural, educational and economical heritages. Clonmels Sister City relationship with Peoria has been its most recent.

4 Bianconi 225 Initiative Clonmel is the Capital of County Tipperary, which has County Offaly on its northern border. Offaly lays claim to the village of Moneygall, yet politically it is in the constituency of North Tipperary.

5 Bianconi 225 Initiative

6 Speculation intensified recently that US President Barack Obama will pay a visit to Ireland this summer, following his acceptance to visit England on May 24 th. The village of Moneygall is where his third-great grandfather, Fulmouth Kearney, grew up. Henry Healy, Mr. Obamas eight cousin said its probably now or never. The country (Ireland) could do with a lift and an inspirational leader at this time, so the door to Moneygall is always open. So too is Clonmel just an hours drive away. I understand that US Ambassador Dan Rooney is in discussions with the White House about getting a trip to Ireland arranged.

7 Bianconi 225 Initiative The Obama – Lincoln Parallel Barack Obamas arrival in Washington by train harkened back to the inaugural White House trip of the former President who is Obamas political idol, Abraham Lincoln. The train rides are a symbolic link between Lincoln and Obama.

8 From the start of his political career, Obama seems to have modelled himself on Lincoln. Each became a lawyer, served in the State Legislature and served in Congress, and became Commander-in- Chief In the year that Abraham Lincoln was born, 1809, Charles Bianconi, then 23 years of age, had already settled in Clonmel. Born in Tregolo, Costa Masnaga, near Lake Como in Italy, Carlo (Charles) Bianconi came to Ireland in 1802. His father was obliged to send the child away from home, because he was deemed to be too friendly with a girl who was already betrothed to the son of a Noble. Both were born in other States, Hawaii and Kentucky, before settling here in Illinois.

9 Bianconi 225 Initiative As an apprentice to a picture-seller, Bianconi never forgot the weary miles he had trudged throughout Ireland, carrying his wares; and he resolved that he would one day remedy the lack of cheap and reliable public transport. AND HE DID !! Due to the lack of Public Transport and the availability of cheap horses and carriages following the Napoleonic Wars, he set up his business, pioneering transport in Ireland, in a house that is now known as Hearns Hotel, across the street from the Town Hall in Clonmel.

10 Bianconi 225 Initiative He was twice Mayor of Clonmel And a personal friend of the liberator Daniel OConnell, with whom he founded the National Bank which in turn made funds available to small and medium sized enterprises in order to bring commerce to all counties in Ireland. He subsequently moved on to the development of, and transition to, railways

11 The Institute of International Exchanges is seeking to foster the spirit of enterprise, innovation, creativity and initiative espoused by Charles Bianconi during the 19th Century, when he pioneered transport on the island of Ireland. The need for such has never been more essential than today, and the objective is to engage with all areas within the 32 Counties serviced by Bianconi ® and the Bian ® cars. Hopefully this would involve all interested parties; commercial, cultural, social, educational, religious, sports, musical etc; schools, churches, clubs, groups, societies. Twinned / Sister Cities will be encouraged to participate in so far as is possible. An ambitious adventure in itself, the aspiration is to commence with an Initiative festival in Clonmel and South Tipperary in September 2011, this year, to mark the 225th Anniversary of the birth of Charles Bianconi, on the 24th September 1786; including an Enterprise – Innovation – Entrepreneurship Seminar, events to be spread out throughout 2012 also, finishing with a Twinned / Sister City Cultural event in Summer 2012. Charles Bianconi was a foremost celebrity in Irelands economic life in the nineteenth century, outside of the political and religious leaders of that century no one person enjoyed such prominence, status and acclaim throughout the whole of Ireland as Charles Bianconi. Any input from your organisations, here in Peoria, by way of ideas, co-operation, participation etc would be greatly appreciated. The situation is a serious one; Ireland in Economic Bail out mode

12 Since the foundation of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland in 1961 U.S. firms have invested over $165 billion in Ireland. As well as being Irelands top export destination, there are now over 600 U.S. firms operating in Ireland. Whats more, Irish firms employ over 80,000 people across all 50 American states and have invested over $34 billion in the U.S.


14 Things are bad but do you know that…. 1 out of 5 burgers served in McDonalds across all of Europe comes from Irish beef. We export enough beef to feed 30 million Europeans. We make 15% of the worlds infant formula. We make 10 of the worlds top selling prescription drugs. Ireland is a giant in medical technology exporting 6.9 billion of medical devices annually. We have one of the most flexible workforces in the world. We lease half of the worlds aircraft fleet. We have unlimited sources of green energy in wind and wave technology, only a small fraction of which has been exploited.

15 We can become one of the largest exporters of green energy in Europe. 8 of the top 10 technology companies are located in Ireland. 15 of the top 25 medical devices companies are located in Ireland. 8 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies are located in Ireland. Total US investment in Ireland is greater than China, Russia, India and Brazil combined. There are still 1,859,500 people working in Ireland today. AND LASTLY…….. We are known internationally as the fighting Irish, maybe its time we lived up to our name.


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