Limerick Minister represents Ireland in New Zealand and Australia for St Patrick’s Day

Added March 21st, 2017

Limerick Minister represents Ireland in New Zealand and Australia for St Patrick’s Day
Limerick TD and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan represented the Government at last week’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Australia and New Zealand which included visits to the New Zealand and Australian Rugby Unions where he outlined Ireland’s bid for the Rugby World Cup 2023. Patrick O’Donovan also visited a number of Irish Centres, spoke at trade events, met Australian and New Zealand tour operators and engaged with Irish Companies seeking to win business in Australia and New Zealand and companies from there looking for opportunities in Europe.
Patrick O’Donovan travelled to Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Sydney to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. He visited four Irish centres where he met people from across the island of Ireland, some of whom travelled from home over sixty five years ago. He spoke at a number of events and welcomed Irish people of all ages to the Irish Embassy in Canberra and the Consulate in Sydney where he spoke of the important cultural, historic and economic links between the two countries. In Brisbane he met with the Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Queensland at a celebration of St Patrick’s Day which is now almost one hundred and twenty years old.
“This St. Patrick’s Day trip also gave me the opportunity to talk to representatives of rugby in Australia and New Zealand through our bid for 2023, and show clearly the Government’s commitment to it. I also learned of how New Zealand managed the tournament when they had it, and how the organisers of the tournament interacted with the New Zealand Government. There are a lot of similarities between Ireland and New Zealand and I used the opportunities when I met the country’s sports Minister and New Zealand High Performance our equivalent of Sport Ireland, to get an insight into their international sporting achievements particularly in the Olympics.”
In New Zealand Minister O’Donovan met representatives of GAA Clubs from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and other cities in the country where he heard first-hand how the games were developing. He also met representatives of Auckland Rugby in Eden Park, the national stadium for New Zealand Rugby.
In Auckland, Wellington and Sydney Patrick O’Donovan met a range of tour operators and airlines operating in both countries with Tourism Ireland in. He discussed opportunities for Australian and New Zealand tourists visiting Ireland with over one hundred and fifty representatives and highlighted the increased air access to Ireland from both countries through the Middle East. Patrick O’Donovan in his role as Minister for Tourism also attended “greening” events where famous buildings were lit up in green in honour of St. Patrick’s Day in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.
Minister O’Donovan also represented the Government at Enterprise Ireland functions in both countries with up to five hundred people attending functions, including Melbourne, where he spoke on the improvement in the Irish economy, the opportunities for investment and Brexit. The largest gathering took place in Sydney where he was guest of honour at a function with over one thousand six hundred people in attendance including the Prime Minister of the State of New South Wales. He was also present for the launch of a new Irish product on to the Australian market and witnessed the signing of agreements between Irish companies and customers in Melbourne and Auckland.
“This visit to New Zealand and Australia was of huge importance, not only in terms of celebrating St Patrick’s Day, but also it gave an opportunity to me, on behalf of the Government, to provide details on a number of key points which as a country we are anxious to make. While my schedule was busy, I used every opportunity given to push the case for Ireland and to deepen the relationship between us and Australia and New Zealand. We have a long and proud links to both countries, and it was an honour and a privilege to represent Ireland there for St Patrick’s Day.”

 

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