As a global city of choice, Dublin values inclusivity, cultural exchange and international partnerships. The City of Dublin holds Friendship City designations with Mashiko, Japan, and Dublin, Ireland. Dublin residents who travel to these cities are encouraged to serve as goodwill ambassadors of Dublin, Ohio.
The City of Dublin first declared its Friendship City relationship with Dublin, Ireland, on Aug. 5, 2017, during the 30th Dublin Irish Festival in Ohio. The agreement was most recently renewed March 15, 2023, in Dublin, Ireland, during that country’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
The two communities continue their longstanding partnership in order to find areas of future cooperation, address common goals, and deepen the alliance between the cities that proudly share a name. Their renewed declaration of friendship and cooperation will be active for four years, building on a previous agreement that has linked the cities since 2017.
The partnership also highlights Dublin’s Irish roots. In 1810, the then-village of Dublin was named for the land surveyor’s homeland of Dublin, Ireland. To this day, Irish culture is celebrated with the City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Dublin Irish Festival, the largest three-day Irish festival on the planet.
Friendship city opportunities for learning and exchange of views include
1810 — After surveying John Sells’ settlement, Irishman John Shields names the land Dublin after his birthplace of Dublin, Ireland, forever linking the two cities.
1988 — The two Dublins celebrate special birthdays: one year as a city for Dublin, Ohio and 1,000 years for Dublin, Ireland. The 1/1000 Committee was formed to celebrate the milestone, later becoming the Dublin Irish Celebration and finally, the Dublin Irish Festival.
2013 — Former Mayor and current Council Member Tim Lecklider represents Dublin, Ohio, at a “Gathering of the Dublins” in Dublin, Ireland. Upon his return, he suggests Dublin, Ohio, explore a formal cultural partnership with Dublin, Ireland.
2016 — Then-Consul General of Ireland Orla Mc Breen attends Dublin, Ohio’s Dublin Irish Festival, and later Lord Mayor Brendan Carr meets with Dublin, Ohio, officials at City Hall.
2017 — Minister of Natural Resources Sean Kyne and current Consul General of Ireland Brian O’Brien attend Dublin, Ohio’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. O’Brien visits again to honor the Dublin Irish Festival at the Memorial Tournament. Dublin, Ohio, Mayor Greg Peterson and Dublin, Ireland, Lord Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha signed the Friendship City agreement on the stage during a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Dublin Irish Festival on Aug. 5.
Vice Consul General Ragnar Almqvist and Passport Officer Christina Lisigakis, of the Irish Consulate in Chicago began hosting a pop-up consulate at the Dublin Irish Festival where guests could learn about opportunities to live, work and study in Ireland and find out information on obtaining Irish passports and citizenship.
2018 – Consul General Brian O’Brien, Vice Consul General Justin Dolan and Passport Officer Christina Lisigakis of the Irish Consulate in Chicago hosted the pop-up consulate at the Festival.
2019 – Dublin, Ohio, Mayor Greg Peterson, Vice Mayor Chris Amorose Groomes and Government & International Relations Manager Nancy Richison visited Dublin, Ireland, where they met with city officials and toured projects in the city. Discussions centered on how the two cities could collaborate. The visit concluded with a meeting with Lord Mayor Paul McAuliffe and Chief Executive Owen Keegan at the Mansion House.
2022 — Irish Ambassador Daniel Mulhall attended the Memorial Tournament as a guest of the City of Dublin, along with Acting Consul General of Ireland in Chicago Sarah Keating. Keating, Acting Vice Consul General Niamh Marshall, Passport Officer Christina Lisigakis and Visa Officer Caiti Houlihan of the Irish Consulate in Chicago also hosted the pop-up consulate at the Dublin Irish Festival. In September, consulate duties were switched from Chicago to New York for the State of Ohio.
2023 — Dublin, Ohio, Mayor Jane Fox met with Dublin, Ireland’s Lord Mayor Caroline Conroy to sign the friendship agreement at the Mansion House, the lord mayor’s residence. Fox was also joined by the City’s Community Events and Communications & Public Information division directors. Dublin City Council approved this agreement in December 2022, and this visit made it official.
The City of Dublin was honored to kick off the 36th Irish Festival by highlighting our community and furthering our partnership with the Irish Consulate in New York. Dermot Fitzpatrick, vice consul general of Ireland in New York, toured the City and helped start the Festival at the opening ceremony. Mark Owens, honorary consul general of Ireland in Ohio, also welcomed guests to the festivities. Irishman Ian Montgomery served as the honorary chair of the Festival.
A city of 1.2 million, Dublin, Ireland, also includes a large student population as the region is home to five universities. Its service-driven economy, strong startup ecosystem and numerous research centers fuel innovation and quality of life. Dublin City Council has 63 democratically elected public representatives. The role of the councillors is to create the policy framework which the city operates within. Learn more from the city’s visitor bureau.
Dublin’s Japanese ties are reflected throughout the community. The city is home to the largest number of Japanese nationals in the state and more than 20 Japanese companies conduct their business here. The City also has a long-standing partnership with the Japan-America Society of Central Ohio (JASCO), which is located in Dublin.
The City of Dublin’s first Friendship City agreement was signed Dec. 15, 2015, with Mashiko, Japan, in the City of Dublin. Dublin and Mashiko aim to facilitate exchanges about topics including education, local government, business and the arts.
2004 — During the 2004-2005 school year, 20 Davis Middle School students under director Susann Blair-Ewing were introduced to Taiko during a year-long residency with renowned Taiko Master Eitetsu Hayashi through a visiting artist program with the Dublin Arts Council. The Dublin Taiko Group has continued as a Dublin City Schools afterschool activity for all sixth through 12th graders in the district.
Taiko is a Japanese performance ensemble style that uses Japanese drums (“taiko”) to blend music andchoreographed movements. It embodies both cultural awareness and art. Eitetsu Hayashi also founded Mashiko’s Tenjin Kaze no Kai taiko group — of which former Mashiko Mayor Otsuka was a member.
Dublin Taiko Group performers have appeared at community events and cultural festivals throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Florida and Japan. They were the featured performers for the 2017 UK Taiko Festival in Exeter, England, and have performed twice by invitation at Walt Disney World.
2015 — The communities first connected when then-Mayor Michael Keenan visited Japan in an effort to strengthen economic relationships and expand Dublin’s international presence. Keenan and Mashiko Mayor Tomoyuki Otsuka found a cultural exchange would be mutually beneficial and began developing an agreement.
2016 — During the Dublin Irish Festival, Aug. 6-10, Mashiko’s Vice Mayor Hiroshi Houshito and Superintendent Ryoichiro Oka explored Dublin along with renowned artist Ikuzo Fujiwara and his wife Takako Fujiwara of Fujiwara Earthen Studio. The delegation also visited with City officials and representatives from Dublin City Schools, Washington Township and Dublin Arts Council.
2017 — World-renowned Mashiko artist Ikuzo Fujiwara held an art installation at Dublin Arts Council (DAC) for several monthslong. Dublin City Schools students studying the Japanese language visited Mashiko as part of a student-based exchange. Fujiwara’s artwork was later purchased as a permanent installation at DAC.
2019 – On a trip to attend the 51st Annual Joint Meeting of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association in Tokyo, Mayor Greg Peterson, Vice Mayor Chris Amorose Groomes and Government & International Relations Manager Nancy Richison traveled to Mashiko to meet with Mayor Otsuka and the Town Council. The delegation visited local attractions, including a pottery museum, before attending a reception with town officials.
During the trip, Gov. Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine joined a delegation from Ohio, including Vice Mayor Amorose Groomes, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Honda in Ohio and to thank the company for its commitment to the region and state.
Dublin Jerome High School held the 15th-anniversary concert between Dublin Taiko Group and Mashiko’s Tenjin Kaze no Kai taiko group with special guests Taiko Master Eitetsu Hayashi and his apprentice group.
2021 — The City of Dublin welcomed Consul General Tsutomu Nakagawa from the Detroit office of the Consulate General of Japan in March. Consul General Nakagawa met with Dublin’s Mayor Chris Amorose Groomes and City Manager Dana McDaniel at Dublin’s new City Hall. The Consul General was joined by Consul Yuki Ebihara with the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit and Consul General Nakagawa’s wife, Mrs. Chieko Nakagawa. They discussed regional and global economy, workforce development and education.
In August, Dublin Mayor Amorose Groomes, Vice Mayor Cathy DeRosa and City Council members Christina Alutto and Jane Fox met with newly named Consul General of Japan in Detroit, Mr. Yusuke Shindo. General in Detroit Shindo was joined by Mrs. Seiko Shindo and Dr. Hiroyuki Fujita, the Honorary Consul General of Cleveland. The Consulate-General of Japan in Detroit is tasked with supporting the more than 500 Japanese businesses that operate in Ohio and Michigan.
2023 — Mayor Jane Fox and City Manager Megan O’Callaghan were invited to the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit’s celebration of Japanese Emperor Naruhito’s birthday in February. In Japan, the emperor’s birthday is an annual public holiday, and celebrations are held around the globe in the emperor’s honor. Mayor Fox and City Manager O’Callaghan were guests of Consul General Yusuke Shindo and Mrs. Seiko Shindo. The City of Dublin and the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit have a long-standing relationship in support of our robust Japanese business and residential populations.
2023 — Council Member John Reiner, City Manager Megan O’Callaghan and Community Events and Communications & Public Information Director Lindsay Weisenauer visited Mashiko for a cultural exchange with the mayor and other town officials in September. They gifted their hostsy a decanter, as Mashiko is well known for its sake production; Mashiko presented Dublin with its pottery that is known throughout Japan. Dublin officials also visited businesses in Toyko and throughout the Saitama and Tochigi prefectures.
Mashiko is located in the Haga District, Tochigi Prefecture in Japan. With a population of about 22,000, Mashiko is known for its pottery or mashikoyaki. The art form has even made its way to Dublin through exhibits by artist Masayuki Miyajima at the Dublin Arts Council in years past. Mashiko is also known for its residents’ mastered art of brewing sake, an alcoholic beverage produced from rice. Sake has been made in Japan throughout its more than 2,000-year history. Learn more from the city’s visitor bureau.
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