Fermanagh invites extended to US Special Envoy

THE INVITES to US Special Envoy Joe Kennedy III to return to the local area for a visit just keep coming.

Last week Mairaid Kelly, who led the successful campaign to save St Mary’s Primary School in Fivemiletown, travelled to Boston as part of an Ulster University (UU) leadership programme.

While there Ms Kelly, who was selected last year to take part in UU’s ‘25@25’ programme, met Mr Kennedy and didn’t waste the chance to invite him back to Fivemiletown to see what ‘people power’ can achieve when communities work together.


“Having the chance to meet the President’s Special Envoy Joe Kennedy III in his hometown was an honour and a privilege, and I wanted to return the famous Irish welcome and extend an invitation to mine,” said Ms Kelly.

“We talked about the Groundwork Project that Mr Kennedy established to support and connect community organisers, particularly those working in small places that are often under-resourced, and the need to build better civic infrastructure that puts power back in the hands of people.

“I told him about the campaign we ran in Fivemiletown to save our small school from a misguided attempt to close it, and invited him to come and visit next time he’s over on this side of the Atlantic. He took my details, so I’m hoping that is a good sign”

At last week’s event, Mr Kennedy addressed the newly launched Boston Chapter of Ulster University Connects, reiterating America’s support for the North.

Mr Kennedy encouraged the 25@25 leaders to “keep the faith, apply that leadership that you so genuinely emanate and continue the positive influence in your neighbourhoods, your communities and wider society”, because “it has never been as important.”

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