The Norwegian Ambassador Oyvind Norsletten paid a courtesy trip to the Midwest of Ireland last week and during his stay visited a number of sites in Limerick City and on both sides of the Estuary. During his visit he laid particular emphasis on developing trade in the areas of Tourism Development, Energy Projects and the Development of Air Transport routes between Norway and Shannon.

Building on the historic links that exist between Norway, Limerick and Canada through the Hannah Parr Emigrant Ship Project, the Ambassador was received by both Mayor John Gilligan and Cathaoirleach John Gallahue. He reiterated the gratitude of the Norwegians to the people of Limerick for their care of the emigrants that sought refuge in Limerick for the period of the repair of their ship the Hannah Parr in 1868. He planted a tree in The Peoples Park in advance of a reception given in his honour by Limerick Civic Trust. During their meeting the Mayor extended a written invitation to a Norwegian Tall Ship to visit Limerick, a request which the Ambassador said he was most anxious to see fulfilled. His Excellency then visited the LEDP Complex on the Roxboro Road where he expressed his happiness at the economic turnaround that had happened there.

Following visits and meetings with broadband company E-Net, The Regeneration Agency and the AK Ilen Boatbuilding School all located at the facility he said he was heartened to see social innovation and high tech business located on the same site.

The visit also included itinerary stops at Westpark in Shannon where he viewed both Shannon Airport and the Estuary and received a briefing on the Atlantic Way Initiative and the Atlantic Fuel Services Complex currently under construction at Foynes Harbour. While in Foynes he visited the Roman Catholic Church where Stephen De Vere is interred and paid a courtesy call on the Foynes Flying Boat Museum where he launched Judith Hill’s book on the life of Conor O’ Brien entitled “In Search of Islands” The Ambassador in all of his addresses to the various groups he met over his busy two day itinerary pointed out his admiration for the excellence in the way in which projects of both a public and private nature were approached in the Midwest area. He expressed the wish that further links would be developed particularly in the areas of Tourism, Energy and Air Transport and he committed himself to helping further those aims.


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