NEE Irish
Keith Newman

North East of England unites with Irish

A new network to harness the power of the 250,000 plus people of Irish descent living in the region has launched with the real prospect of generating jobs in both Ireland and the North East.

Ex pat Galway news broadcast journalist, John Coyne from Jarrow, better known in Irish media circles as Séan Ó Cadhain from his work with RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, formally launched Le Chéile - The North East of England Irish Network (“le cheile” means “together”) with a seminar bringing together some of the most influential people in Ireland and the North East, followed by a VIP Reception and Buffet for 120 guests.

Amongst the guests and speakers were Dermot Keehan, Economic and Commercial Attaché from the Irish Embassy, Alan Gallagher, Vice President for International Development of Connect Ireland (a body set up to seek out inward investment into Ireland from the Irish Diaspora and others), Ted Salmon, Regional Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, Ted Salmon, regional chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses and Matthew Ord of the International Trade Section of the North East Chamber of Commerce.

John is confident that the network will not only become a valued resource to provide a service directory for Irish businesses, offer support for campaigns of interest to members, host events across the region for networking and socialising but will also bring real investment to the North East and Ireland too. The Network is particularly keen to strengthen ties in the commercial, science and technology, manufacturing and processing sectors as opposed to the cultural and social fields which have already well-established links in the region.

“One of our main aims is to encourage the natural flow of commerce in an east west and west east direction, “said John. “We also aim to provide the forum for businesses in the North East of England and in Ireland to collaborate and to do business to the advantage of both.”

Coyne is aware that this will take time but there are already signs of real interest from local businesses keen to explore new markets at home and abroad with a number of regional businesses, (with and without an Irish connection) wanting to know more about the economic opportunities available.

Alan Gallagher of Connect Ireland said “The synergy between the two regions has tremendous potential, especially in the petrochemical and sub-sea industries as well as the expanding new technology and renewable energy sectors. The exchange of ideas and experience can only benefit the future development of both communities. We at Connect Ireland are proud to be partners with Le Chéile in this enterprise.” He was fully supported in his assessment by the representatives of The Federation of Small Businesses and the North East Chamber of Commerce and Dave Anderson MP promised his enthusiastic backing for the aims of The Network.

One of the special guest speakers at the launch, Dermot Keehan, Economic and Commercial Attaché from the Irish Embassy, agreed that the network could only strengthen the ties between the two areas. “It’s often said that the luck of the Irish gets things done, however I’m sure that John and the North East of England Irish Network will achieve great things and it’s nothing to do with luck. It’s down to his dedication, commitment and passion for the two places where John feels he can call home: Ireland and the North East of England. We wish John and the network well.”

Anyone wanting more details on the venture should call 440 4766 or ?e-mail


Photo 1 shows John (centre) at the launch with Dermot Keehan (left ) and Alan Gallagher

editors Notes

John J Coyne

The North East of England Irish Network

Phone: 0191 4404766



Media information: Keith Newman Highlights PR 07814 397951

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