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Minister of State John Halligan begins St Patrick’s visit to Manchester and Liverpool

The Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation, Research and Development, John Halligan TD, today begins a four-day visit to Manchester and Liverpool.

During his visit he will meet with Irish community groups in both cities, represent the Government at the Manchester St Patrick’s Day parade and hold meetings with representatives of the British National Graphene Institute and the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, both of whom have links with Science Foundation Ireland.

On Saturday, Minister Halligan will visit the Manchester St Patrick’s festival village in Albert Square and the Irish World Heritage Centre, the main Irish community centre in Manchester. On Sunday he will represent the Irish government at the Manchester St Patrick’s Day Parade. One of the largest in Britain, some 100,000 people attended the parade last year. On Monday, Minister Halligan will visit Liverpool to meet with local Irish business contacts and representatives of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool. He will call on Irish Community Care, the main Irish welfare organisation in the Liverpool region, and visit the Liverpool Irish Centre. On his return to Manchester, the Minister will meet with representatives of the British National Graphene Institute and the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics.

On Tuesday, he will visit the Manchester Science Park and discuss with Enterprise Ireland the opportunities for Ireland arising from the Northern Powerhouse.

Speaking upon his arrival in Manchester, Minister Halligan said:

"I’m delighted to have this chance to share in the St Patrick’s Day celebrations of the Irish communities in Manchester and Liverpool, two cities whose Irish links are deep and profound. This is a special time of the year for all Irish people, when we can come together as a community and celebrate our culture and history.

“I am deeply conscious of the important role played by Irish community organisations and look forward to visiting and seeing the important work they do during my visit. I’m also pleased to have the chance to meet some of those involved in business between Britain and Ireland and to hear of the opportunities that are opening up in this region to further expand business links. In this regard, I would like to see scientific links between Ireland, Manchester and Liverpool expand.”

ENDS

For further information contact Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation: Phone: 01- 6312200; email: press.office@dbei.gov.ie.

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