Minister Varadkar makes 12th of July visit to Northern Ireland


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar TD travelled to Enniskillen today (Thursday) to meet his counterpart in the Northern Irish Executive, Minister Arlene Foster.
This was the first visit by an Irish Minister to Northern Ireland on the 12th of July. It was organised in response to an invitation from Minister Foster to visit her home town on this day.
The meeting focused on developments in tourism in 2012 such as the highly successful Irish Open event in Portrush, the opening of the Giant’s Causeway and Titanic visitor centres, along with the forthcoming Tall Ships Festival and Notre Dame vs Navy American football game in Dublin. The Ministers also looked forward to next year, discussing The Gathering Ireland 2013, and the Derry-Londonderry City of Culture.
Minister Varadkar took the opportunity to meet some Orange Order members from the border counties, north and south of the border, including some of those who recently visited the Seanad.
Speaking after the event, Minister Varadkar said: ‘Since becoming a Minister I have placed a particular emphasis on working with the Executive in Northern Ireland to develop our tourism industry on an all-island basis. So when Minister Foster invited me to visit her hometown of Enniskillen on July 12th, I felt it would be an important gesture to accept the offer’.
“The peace process has been of enormous benefit to the tourism industry on both sides of the border. That process depends on dialogue and co-operation, and by showing an understanding of one another’s traditions and backgrounds. These are challenging matters, but they are vital to the process of normalisation from which we all benefit. That is why I am visiting Enniskillen today.”
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Press Office: (01) 604 1090/(01) 604 1087
Contact for Minister Varadkar: Nick Miller 086 6992080
Contact for Tourism Ireland: Margaret O’Reilly 087 9798510
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