Question to the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Mr Jimmy Deenihan, TD)
To ask the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if he will report on his visit to Canada; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 25th April, 2013.
A total of 19 Government Ministers visited 21 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for a series of trade, investment and tourism-focused programmes during March, as part of the government’s St Patrick’s Day ‘Promote Ireland’ programme. I travelled to Toronto, Canada in March of this year as part of that programme.
The focus of my visit to Toronto was to enhance the cultural and trade links between Ireland and Canada. My engagements included an Irish/Canadian Chamber of Commerce business event with Enterprise Ireland, a promotional event with the Irish Dairy Board, several meetings with Irish Centres in Canada focused on Irish heritage, Irish community projects and the Irish language and an appearance on Canadian national television.
My visit also encompassed the St. Patrick’s Day parade and a visit to the Hamilton Irish Canadian Centre. I also inaugurated the greening of Niagara Falls where I was accompanied by Mr. Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland. In addition, I had the opportunity to visit the Irish Famine Park, Éireann Quay, and to visit mass graves of victims of the Great Irish Famine.
The value of exports from Ireland to Canada increased by 24% in 2012. The Government is committed to promoting further growth in trade and cultural links between Ireland and Canada, as this is clearly of immense importance to our economy.