Ministers will promote Ireland 'unashamedly'


TÁNAISTE'S ITINERARY:MINISTERS travelling around the globe for St Patrick’s Day celebrations will “unashamedly” sell the message that Ireland is recovering and is one of the best destinations in the world for inward investment and tourism, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday said St Patrick’s Day was a unique opportunity for Ireland to promote itself that was available to almost no other country in the world.

“Apart from Bastille Day and the Fourth of July, there is no other national day that commands such attention. All Ministers will be consciously using that focus on Ireland to promote the country and to encourage investment and trade.

“The basic message is that now is the time to invest in Ireland’s recovery. We will be looking to getting investment in . . . increasing tourism and cultural links.”

The Tánaiste was speaking on the eve of his visit to Canada, which begins today. In a busy itinerary that includes meetings with Irish emigrants and attendance at official St Patrick’s Day events, Mr Gilmore will meet Canada’s finance minister Jim Flaherty in Toronto and the Quebec premier, Jean Charest, in Montreal.

In an interview with The Irish Times, Mr Gilmore said Ireland was Canada’s fifth biggest location for outward investment and that trade between the two countries amounted to €1.6 billion.

He said he would bring two messages to the new wave of emigrants and their families, that they would not be forgotten and that the Government’s focus on jobs would work towards offering them a way back home.

More generally he said the message from all Ministers was consistent and that Irish embassies and State agencies (such as Enterprise Ireland and the IDA) had done a huge amount of work.