Sean Moynihan takes on new role as president of Irish Network Boston
New President of IN Boston, Sean Moynihan with Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny during his last visit to Boston in 2013
To say that Sean Moynihan is excited about his new role as President of Irish Network Boston (IN Boston) would be an understatement. Moynihan, a corporate and government affairs attorney in Boston, was elected President of the IN board of directors in January. A founding board member, he has served on the executive committee since its launch in 2010. We caught up with him recently and his excitement was palpable.
“I love this organization”, he said. “We work very hard to offer our members the opportunity to interact personally and virtually through events, programming, information sharing, and an active on-line presence. Our charge is an important one as we also aim to inform and promote the great work of the other Irish and Irish American organizations in the Boston and Massachusetts area”.
He credits the success of the organization to an extremely talented and committed board of directors, all of whom are volunteers, and an active and savvy membership base that is the “life blood” of the organization. “An organization like IN is only as strong as its members and our members are incredible. They come from all different walks of life and backgrounds – Irish born, Irish Americans and folks who simply have a great affinity for Ireland. We do our best to offer events and programming that cut across the spectrum of their interests – cultural, business, educational, one on one networking, etc.”
He has an ambitious agenda for the coming year that involves a complete overhaul and re-launch of the organization’s website, several speaker series involving discussions about the Irish economy, the situation in Northern Ireland, and the local economic and political climate as well as the group’s annual Summer networking series. He hinted at another major event that he thinks will generate a great deal of interest and support but refused to get into details.
Moynihan serves as Secretary of Irish Network USA (IN USA) which is the national organization overseeing some 17 chapters in cities throughout the US, Boston being one of them. This past November he was in Washington, DC for a national board meeting and the group was hosted by Irish Ambassador to the United States Anne Anderson. “She is an extremely bright and talented lady. We are fortunate to have such a competent and effective team from the Irish government here in America.” He specifically pointed out the hard work done by Boston’s former Consul General Michael Lonergan in launching IN Boston and current Consul General Breandán Ó Caollaí who has been “nothing but supportive since he arrived here in August.”
Moynihan himself is no stranger to supporting links between Ireland and the US. A dual citizen, he has family in Inagh, County Clare, Adare in Limerick and Barraduff in Kerry. His firm – The Moynihan Group, LLC – has ”been blessed” with a variety of American and Irish clients seeking to establish a presence in each country. He serves on the board of the Boston Irish Business Association (BIBA), the Irish International Immigration Center’s (IIIC) Intern Advisory Board, and is a past trustee of the Irish Pastoral Center.
When the subject of St. Patrick’s Day came up, he offered this observation. “There was always a real sense of pride in being ‘Irish’ in my family. It was far from just celebrating St Patrick’s Day. More so, it was being mindful of who we were as Irish Americans – a genuine respect and appreciation for the history of the family and the challenges they faced both at home in Ireland and then as immigrants in Massachusetts,” he said.
He joked, “Some may think my interest in Ireland is over the top, but it’s who I am”. Far from naïve, he immediately pointed out how his grandmother would now and again keep him in check and remind him that, despite his affinity for Ireland, he was an American. “She would just grin and look at me and say ‘Ah Sean you love Ireland, but you’ll always be a Yank’”