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Minister Cannon T.D. remarks at a Irish Community dinner in Paris

Ambassador, Secretary Ó Conluain, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you Ambassador. It has been great to meet so many members of the Irish community in France today.
It’s also wonderful to see that you have a small piece of Galway here in the Embassy in the form of the beautiful paintings hanging next door.

This is an interesting visit for me because it is the first time I have been to France in my capacity as Minister for the Diaspora.

France is fascinating because the Irish community here is so large and varied. This is in no small part because Ireland is so close to France, geographically and culturally.

It’s also unique because there is such an important affinity with the diaspora in France. The enthusiasm among French people for Ireland is clear to see.

It was an honour to be at the launch of the Irish studies network today.

I am certain that the initiative will be a great boost for research in Irish studies in France.

I’m proud that, through the Irish Abroad Unit at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and through the Government’s Emigrant Support Programme, we can provide support to community organisations such as yours and to worthwhile initiatives such as the Irish studies network.

I hope that we can continue to support Irish community organisations in France in all their varied guises. I am confident that they will go from strength to strength.

I look forward to our discussion this evening and hearing more about your own future projects, and how the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade can support you.

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