President welcomes new era of German-Irish relations
Ireland’s new consulate general to open later this year in Frankfurt
President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins at St Kilian’s Cathedral in Würzburg on the third day of the State visit to Germany. Photograph: Maxwell’s
Concluding a three-day state visit, Mr Higgins said the new consulate general, to open later this year in Frankfurt, as “tangible reality” of Ireland’s commitment to Germany.
“It important for us to recognise the complexity in this population of 80 million,” said Mr Higgins. “There is a long old note that is there, and there is a new contemporary energy.”
At the gathering, the President s also paid tribute to Irish Ambassador to Germany, Michael Collins, who is retiring from the diplomatic service after more than 46 years.
“For all he has done for Ireland, míle buíochas,” he said.
The President also encouraged his audience to visit Galway as European City of Culture 2020.
From just 8,000 visitors from Germany in 1965, 850,000 visited Ireland last year – doubling in the last decade to make Germans the third-biggest market tourism group to come Ireland.
In Frankfurt Lucia Puttrich, European minister for the state of Hesse, insisted Germany would “do everything in its power” to defend the Northern Ireland peace process, avoid a no-deal Brexit and a hard border.