12.03.11 Deenihan sees Irish celebrations on streets and squares in London
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs Mr. Jimmy Deenihan T.D., is in London this weekend to attend functions to mark St Patrick’s Day and the contribution that the Irish Community has made to Britain over many decades.
On Sunday Minister Deenihan will lead the parade from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square accompanied by the Deputy Mayor of London, Richard Barnes. There will also be a concert attended by up to 15,000 people which will showcase the best of Irish music and dance.
Speaking about the importance of celebrating and promoting Ireland, Minister Deenihan said “it is great to be part of this important celebration of all things Irish and to acknowledge the tremendous contribution that Irish men and women have made to Britain over the years.
Relations between Britain and Ireland are stronger now than at any time in our shared recent history and the forthcoming Royal visit will provide an excellent opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved especially the successful peace process in Northern Ireland.
A key role of Ministers travelling to cities such as London is to show that Ireland means business but we also know how to enjoy our culture, music and traditions. From a business perspective we have to show with confidence that Ireland is welcoming and open for business. The Government is determined to rebuild Ireland’s reputation internationally and to drive export-led economic recovery. The UK is the third largest investor in Ireland after the US and Germany.
It is a fact that in welcoming Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland later this year, we have a tremendous opportunity to show the world how beautiful, vibrant and welcoming Ireland is. We also need to let visitors know what great value is waiting for them, with something for every budget catered for.”
Minister Deenihan also said that with the British Census taking place at the end of March people will have the opportunity of registering their Irish heritage in the Census – by ticking the Irish ethnicity box in Question 16. Knowing the number of people of Irish ethnicity will help policy makers of the future understand more the needs of the communities they are serving.
“This week Ireland and the Irish will have a unique opportunity to open the world’s eyes to our culture, music, food, literature, heritage and creativity – it is a chance we cannot and should not miss” said the Minister.