Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce: Year in Review

Published Date: June 27th, 2023

Author: ICCC Montreal Office

President’s Remarks

Paul Dunne – President, ICCC Montreal

This is my final newsletter as President and we did a lot in the two years I was in office. I can take little credit because the success of the chamber depends not so much on what I did but rather the combined efforts of a very strong board. I’m not really leaving because I will continue to serve the board as long as the membership will tolerate my presence and there’s still a lot of work left to do.

Two major projects dominated the last six months and will continue to define our future work as we transition to a new board Year:

Expansion of our Network

Our influence spreads beyond our organization to the partnerships we nurture with Canadian, Quebec and Irish government agencies as well as business organizations like ours. This wider network helps us expand our reach to hundreds of others inside and outside the Irish community with a common interest in our mission.

An Irish Consulate in Montreal

The Irish government opened new diplomatic missions in the cities of Toronto and Vancouver in recent years but has so far neglected to open one in Montreal to serve Canada’s second largest city and metropole of the Province of Quebec. The chamber is leading the charge for the establishment of a full consulate in Montreal and the energy of the board is focussed on making it happen.

We bid a sad goodbye to James Fitzgerald who played a critical role as director of communications over the last few years. He will be sorely missed. In addition to James, I was privileged to serve alongside a formidable team of volunteers during the last two years whose accomplishments for just the first half of 2023 we proudly celebrate below.

Here are the highlights of our recent work:


We were addressed by Neale Richmond TD, Irish Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, on the topic of Irish Unity. The virtual presentation was jointly sponsored by ourselves and the Ireland Canada Business Council. The topic of Irish Unity is much more complex than it may seem at first sight and even among those in favour of the project, there are starkly opposing views on how it would be implemented in practice.

Accessible on YouTube.

Listen again. Fascinating topic!

MARCH 17 LA PRESSE OP-ED “Le 17 mars tout le Québec est irlandais »

We published an Op-Ed in Montreal’s La Presse one of Canada’s largest newspapers by circulation. The title of the article was “On Saint Patrick’s Day, all of Quebec is Irish” and the content covered the close cultural business links between Quebec and Ireland.

You can read the article online in the “News and Blogs” section of our website.


Vice President Michelle Sullivan represented ICCC at the Global Irish Civic Forum held at Dublin Castle in April.

This initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs gathered members of the Irish diaspora together to discuss issues of common concern. Representation in Seanad Éireann and participation in the Presidential election were raised by delegates present, while we leveraged the opportunity to lobby for a Montreal consulate both publicly as well as privately with Sean Fleming TD, Minister of State for International Development and Diaspora and DFA officials.


This virtual event was sponsored by the chamber and IDA Ireland – the agency tasked with attracting investors to Ireland. It was organized and hosted by La Chambre de Commerce de Montreal Metropolitain and attracted in excess of 70 registrants. Guests who represented investors in Ireland made presentations on the advantages of investing in Ireland and the pitfalls for the unprepared.

The full event has been recorded and can be accessed on the “Past Events” section of our website.


We organised this event in collaboration with Invest Northern Ireland whose Canadian country manager, Michael Barton was also in attendance. Mairead Lavery is President and CEO of Export Development Canada, a past member of our chamber and a great supporter of the Irish community. We had a too-short but fascinating Q&A with her on the state of the Canadian and global economies with special insight into the political and economic challenges facing Northern Ireland.

The full interview and discussion is available on the “Past Events” section of our website.


Past-President, Vivian Doyle-Kelly represented the chamber at a presentation to the joint houses of parliament in Dublin. The presentation was on the theme of Ireland’s Trade Relationship with Canada. The chamber concentrated most of its presentation on a plea for support of a full-time General Consulate in Montreal.

A recording of the event is available on the “Past Events” section of our website.


Paul Dunne (President)

Michelle Sullivan (Vice President)

Padraig McLean (Treasurer)

Siobhan Mullan (Secretary)

Conor Barry (Immediate Past President)

Carol McCormick

Vivian Doyle-Kelly

James Fitzgerald

Mark Gallagher

Ruth Hanna

Paul Loftus (Co-founder)

Katrina Montgomery

CT Moore

Sean Murphy