Boston and Belfast, two cities entwined historically by immigration, politics, business and culture, today become official partners in the prestigious Sister Cities program. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Belfast Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir signed the formal agreement at the Seaport Boston Hotel as a host of Irish-American business leaders and local officials looked on.
and Belfast will strive to foster educational
exchanges, promote cultural understanding, and stimulate economic
development through our new relationship,"
said Walsh. "This formal agreement goes far beyond
a declaration on ink on paper; it truly speaks to our historic
connection, genuine ties, and deeply linked heritage." Sister
and Boston share enduring links of history and
heritage over many years and they will now provide the foundation for a new
future-focused Sister City relationship between Boston
said O Muilleoir.
According to the book, Irish Boston: A Lively Look at Boston's Colorful Irish Past (Globe Pequot Press), the Boston-Belfast connection dates back to the early 18th century, when thousands of Northern Irish Presbyterians who were seeking a new life in the New World came through
. They settled in the Boston Harbor, starting in 1718 Bay
State and created towns like
Londonderry and Derry, New Hampshire; Belfast, Maine; and
Charlemont and . Worcester, Massachusetts
The Sister City program was first instituted by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, and
becomes only the ninth international city that Boston has invited into the program.
For more about
Boston’s Irish community, visit
To find out more about
Irish history, visit IrishHeritageTrail.com.