Healey to travel to Ireland on first international trip as governor

Gov. Maura Healey is scheduled to address the Irish Senate next week on her first international gubernatorial trip. 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.

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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.

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.


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