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Minister Cannon T.D. remarks at the Launch of NUIG Art Exhibition, Paris

It is a great pleasure to be here to meet the Irish community in France.

This is a particularly special occasion as we are celebrating a new connection with Galway, through the launch of this beautiful collection, Looking West.

This is the first time an Irish Embassy has directly organised an art loan from an Irish institution.

The generosity of spirit of NUI Galway is matched only by the high quality of the artwork.

On behalf of my Department and the Embassy network, I thank you.

While many French and international visitors will see and appreciate the artworks as they visit the Embassy, I feel they will have a special resonance for Irish visitors.

These are very Irish images, people, landscapes – indeed even some very Irish weather which the Grace Henry painting displays.

For those of you who have made a new home here in France, I know that you spend a little time each day looking back to Ireland, in fondness.

It is important that your government supports you wherever you are.
I am proud that the Emigrant Support Programme has grown strongly in France, now supporting more organisations in more ways than ever before.

I am proud too that our GAA Global Games fund has seen a tenfold increase in applications over the past few years, and a commensurate increase in funding.

But I am proudest of all that so many of you have achieved so much in France.

The personal, business, and cultural connections you have created are the weft and weave of the Irish-French partnership.

Our political, economic, and diplomatic goals in Dublin, in Paris, and in Brussels, are based around making the partnership ever-stronger, to resonate with your work.

As you achieve your goals, ours become easier.

As we achieve ours, yours become easier too.

Hence the need for mutual support in these goals, and the role of the Minister for the Irish Diaspora.

I look forward to meeting you all tonight, and learning how best we can work together.

Merci.

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