8 April 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A new free trade agreement to be implemented between Canada and Europe could open up major opportunities for Co Monaghan companies, the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Loyola Hearn, told the members of Monaghan Co Council when he delivered a formal address to them at their monthly meeting on Monday afternoon.
Ambassador Hearn also highlighted employment opportunities for young Monaghan people who wished to emigrate to Canada, arguing that the skills and experience gained by people who emigrated to his country for a short period could prove of enormous assistance in stimulating local economic recovery when they returned to their native place.
The Monaghan Council became the first Irish local authority to be addressed by the Ambassador since he took up his appointment as successor to Pat Binns late in 2010. Ambassador Hearn followed his visit to the Council by travelling to the Combi-Lift plant and on Monday morning met with the executive and staff of Monaghan Mushrooms, two local companies who have already forged thriving trade links in Canada.
The Ambassador also held discussions with local TDs during his visit, a highlight of which was a celebration of Irish traditional music in the Four Seasons Hotel on Monday night at which members of the Makem family performed.
Ambassador Hearn, former Minister for Fisheries in the Canadian Government, was accompanied during his Monaghan visit by his wife Maureen and son David.
Formally welcoming their special guest to the Council Chamber, Co Mayor Jackie Crowe said it was a very special day for the Council to have the new Canadian Ambassador in their midst. It was a great honour and privilege for him as Mayor of Co Monaghan to welcome him on behalf of the Council membership and the people of the county.
Mayor Crowe said that the Ambassador’s predecessor in office Pat Binns was a great friend of Co Monaghan, and they looked forward to the same working relationship with Ambassador Hearn.
After giving a detailed outline of the Ambassador’s previous political career, the Mayor described relations between Ireland and Canada as very close, being based on family ties, cultural affinities and shared democratic traditions. 3.9 million Canadians, or over 13% of the population, claimed some Irish ancestry.
Noting that tourism and trade links had been established between the countries in recent times, Mayor Crowe said that former North Monaghan Co Council member Willie McKenna had been very much to the forefront in their establishment. They were pleased and honoured that the Ambassador was visiting some Co Monaghan industries that enjoyed an outlet in Canada. He wished the Ambassador well during his stay with them and looked forward to working with him in the future.

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