Taoiseach Enda Kenny was in London earlier in the week to kick off a week-long programme of St Patrick’s celebrations in London, and elsewhere around the globe.
Speaking at a gala-event hosted by CHAMP, the Taoiseach called on Britons to come to Ireland, both north and south, to enjoy what Ireland has to offer. Labour leader Ed Milliband was also speaking at the cross-party launch, which was sponsored by Tourism Ireland.
The event, celebrating British-Irish relations, was attended by members of the House of Commons and House of Lords, as well as leaders of the Irish Community living in London, influential travel trade, business tourism and media contacts.
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The event marks the start of a packed week of promotional activity for Tourism Ireland around the globe. Tourism Ireland’s St Patrick’s 2014 programme will span Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as emerging tourism markets like China and South Africa.
To open the event, the London Eye went green for an hour, with many more significant global landmarks due to do the same this weekend. Landmark buildings in Dublin and across Ireland will also be turning green this year to mark St Patrick’s Day including the GPO, the Rock of Cashel, Trim Castle, Heuston Station and the National Gallery, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar and Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works Brian Hayes have confirmed.
Minister Varadkar said: “This is the second year that Irish buildings have taken part in the global Greening and I hope we can make it a permanent feature of the St Patrick’s Day celebrations. With famous places across the world going green, I think it’s hugely important that our own landmarks also take part. Last year’s Irish Greening was a great success and really added to the atmosphere around St Patrick’s Day. It’s great to see new arrivals like the Kilkenny Castle and Ennis Friary, alongside the likes of the Rock of Cashel and Áras an Uachtaráin which featured in last year’s festival.”
Image; Brian Ambrose, Chairman of Tourism Ireland; Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland; Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD; and Ed Miliband, Leader of the British Labour Party, at a reception sponsored by Tourism Ireland in the House of Commons with the “greened” London Eye in the background.