Category: Archive

DiNapoli pledges NY funds for North investment

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Standing alongside deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn, New York Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, and human rights campaigner Kerry Kennedy – daughter of RFK – the comptroller said Monday that the funds would be part of a $100 million commitment to the “emerging markets” of Europe.
And he vowed to ensure the investment would deliver a return both for the people of Northern Ireland and the public employees of New York State.
“After extensive due diligence, we are convinced there are considerable opportunities in Northern Ireland and we are going to take advantage of those opportunities,” DiNapoli said at the announcement of the investment (see photos on right).
“We are a perpetual investor and this investment is being made for employees retiring in 2039. We are confident of making strong, long-range returns.”
Comptroller DiNapoli, who attended last May’s investment conference in Belfast, said he was bowled over by the “drive and the energy” of the people he had met.
He also paid tribute to the deputy first minister’s resolve in the wake of the recent killings in the North. The $30 million pledge for Northern Ireland comes on the heels of a groundbreaking announcement last fall by New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson of a $150 million investment in the Emerald Equity Fund.
Deputy first Minister McGuinness said that investment and the latest one showed that Irish America and America “stood rock-solid behind the elected representatives of the north of Ireland.”
Those behind the recent killings in Northern Ireland were “dedicated to the demolition of the political institutions and the destruction of the peace process,” he said.
He described Comptroller DiNapoli as “a true friend of Ireland” and said the investment from New York State would help underpin a peace process which aimed to “replace inequality with equality, injustice with justice, exclusion with inclusion, division with partnership”.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn welcomed McGuinness’ forthright denunciation of recent attacks.
“The message he sent out last week and that we send out today with this investment is that the peace process is irreversible,” she said.
Nassau County legislator Denise Ford said the investment would ensure the peace process kept moving forward “to ensure a brighter future for everyone.”
Comptroller DiNapoli said he expected to sign off on his first investment in Northern Ireland in the near future.

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