The Spire of Dublin rises behind the statue of Jim Larkin.
The Spire of Dublin rises behind the statue of Jim Larkin.

St. Patrick’s Day may not land until next week (March 17), but San Jose gets to enjoy some Irish cheer a week early.

Today marks the first day of a visit from sister city Dublin to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the San Jose-Dublin Sister City affiliation. The delegation includes The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councilor Gerry Breen, and Dublin government, business and university officials.

Established in 1986, the San Jose & Dublin Sister City relationship was initiated by then Mayor of San Jose, Tom McEnery, and the former Prime Minister of Ireland, Bertie Ahern, then Lord Mayor of Dublin. The program, known as “twinning” (ed- not “#winning” to clarify) in Ireland, has evolved over the years to be one of the strongest sister city linkages worldwide and develops cultural, economic, artistic and sporting ties between San Jose/Silicon Valley and Dublin.

“I’d like to once again welcome our friends from Dublin to San Jose,” said Mayor Chuck Reed. “The business and cultural ties that we’ve developed over the past 25 years have helped transform both of our cities into global centers of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Mayor Chuck Reed.

The welcome breakfast will be followed by a flag-raising ceremony 10 a.m., on the plaza of the San Jose City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St. Designed by Richard Meier, the 18-story building will serve a contemporary backdrop to the annual ceremonial proceedings that included the San Jose Police Department Color Guard, and the student choir from San Jose’s St. John Vianney Catholic School.

In addition to a meeting with Mayor Reed, members of the City Council, and City Manager Debra Figone, and with executives from Silicon Valley companies, the delegation will attend a San Jose Sharks game and participate in a pre-game ceremony.

San Jose and Dublin: Innovation Is Key

According to Kim Walesh, director of Economic Development, City of San Jose, Silicon Valley mainstays such as Adobe, Cisco Systems, eBay, Flextronics, IBM and Xilinx have a presence in Ireland and have benefitted from the ongoing relationship between Dublin and San Jose.

“San Jose is our nation’s most international city. Our people and companies succeed by being in relationship with people, companies, and investors from all around the world — whether interacting on our soil or theirs, whether innovating in the real world or virtual world. San Jose and Dublin reflect an especially powerful, longstanding, and strengthening relationship,” said Walesh.

The visit runs today through March 13, 2011.

About San Jose’s Sister City Program

San Jose was among the first cities in the United States to establish a sister city affiliation. San Jose’s sister city affiliation with Okayama, Japan, established on May 26, 1957, was the third sister city affiliation following the inception of the national Sister Cities program in 1956. San Jose has seven sister cities: Okayama, Japan (1957); San Jose, Costa Rica (1961); Veracruz, Mexico (1975); Tainan, Taiwan (1977); Dublin, Ireland (1986); Pune, India (1992); and Ekaterinburg, Russia (1992). Each sister city affiliation is part of San Jose’s rich history and represents a bond between the city and people of San Jose with the city and people of our sister city.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Jaqian

Monica Turner
Contributor to Stark Insider for tech, the arts and All Things West Coast for over 10 years.