City officials plan to bring more Irish commerce to Columbia

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) — If you drive down Main Street, Columbia you’ll see the Irish Flag is already flying in front of City Hall ahead of St. Patrick’s Day.

According to Representative Heather Bauer, she and other city officials are working on building a commerce-focused relationship with Ireland.

Bauer says the Irish Flag was sent to her by Irish Senator Mark Daly after discussions took place on economic development.

“No surprise that Ireland wants to work with SC and the City of Columbia. After the week of Scout Motors being announced, we just passed a major Workforce Development Bill in the house as well. This has been a bipartisan effort to bring the Irish American Caucus and a Trade Commission to South Carolina,” says Bauer.

Jim Lawracy is the President of the South Carolina State Board of an Irish group called the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

“Some of the friendliest people, when you go to visit, are the Irish. They’re very helpful. We try to mimic that on this side of the pond as well,” says Lawracy.

With the annual Five Points St. Patrick’s Day celebration this weekend, Lawracy says Irish culture always brings an element of fun along with it.

“As we say in Ireland, it’s great craic. And it’s not spelled c-r-a-c-k. It’s c-r-a-i-c, and it means a great time,” says Lawracy.

City officials report they’re open to any Irish industry doing business here.

But Lawracy has a specific industry in mind, saying, “Ireland has become a major center for technology. And if there’s a way we can bring some of that back here to Columbia in particular that would be absolutely fantastic.”

Bauer says she’ll be carrying the Irish Flag at the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Five Points this coming Saturday morning as well.

“There is good food, good music, good company — and maybe a few adult libations,” Lawracy says regarding Irish celebrations.

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