14/03/12 Minister Dinny McGinley meets his Scottish counterpart Alasdair Allan to explore areas of mutual co-operation

Dinny McGinley TD Minister of State for the Gaeltacht  will this evening (Wednesday 14 March, 2012) travel to  Scotland for the St Patrick’s Day period. While there, the Minister will promote Irish-Scottish links across a wide range of areas. Minister McGinley will take part in a number of engagements and meetings at which Ireland’s economic recovery; our trading, educational and cultural links with Scotland will be discussed and explored.
Tomorrow, Minister McGinley will meet with Minister Alasdair Allan, Scottish Minister with responsibility for languages. Both Ministers will visit a Gaelscoil in Glasgow, and Minister McGinley will present a Glor na Gael award to the school. The Minister will also take the opportunity to discuss developments with the Edinburgh University Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies.
Speaking in advance of the meeting Minister Mc Ginley said “I am keenly aware of the very strong link which exists between my native Donegal and Scotland. I know that there is much to learn from each other, for example, in terms of promoting language learning and school exchange programmes.”
On the economic front, the Minister will meet with representatives of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, which has  strong links with Ireland, with a view to exploring further practical areas of co-operation. He will have discussions with some of the large number of Enterprise Ireland clients doing business in Scotland, as well as with representatives of the resident Irish business community in Edinburgh. Minister McGinley will make a site visit to the Irish-run Windymains Timber plant near Edinburgh.  The Minister will also use the visit to promote tourism links with Scotland, especially in light of the Gathering next year, and will meet with Tourism Ireland and industry interests.
Minister McGinley said: “‘I am delighted to represent the Irish Government abroad over this very special period. St Patricks Day presents us with a unique opportunity to bring Ireland’s positive message to our friends abroad. That profile exists in great part because of the work that our Diaspora does  all over the world, all year round to promote Ireland .
I spent last St Patricks Day very happily in Gweedore, but,   if there was ever a place that felt like a second home , it is Scotland. The warmth of the welcome that I receive each time I visit is second to none: many of the people of Glasgow have their heart in Donegal, after all!  I am very much looking forward to visiting the special Irish celebrations at Coatbridge and also  back in  Glasgow later in the day – it is Family Day at both of these  key Irish Festivals, and I look forward to meeting a great number of people at both events.” added Minister Mc Ginley
Concluding Minister McGinley said:  “This is my first official trip abroad for St Patrick’s Day as Minister, and  I am delighted to be returning to Scotland, a country for which I have great personal affection, and a country with which Ireland has  such a long and strong history–and such a promising future.  I look forward to playing my part in that future.”


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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