22 April 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

French Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Jean-Pierre Thébault paid a visit to the offices of The Northern Standard on Friday last.

The Ambassador was in Co Monaghan for a number of engagements, and earlier had met with representatives of the twinning committee in Carrickmacross which has forged links with the French town of Carhaix. Monsieur Thébault was also honoured by a civic reception from the members of the Carrickmacross-Castleblayney Municipal District before travelling to ‘Blayney to meet with those involved in the Mid-Monaghan town’s twinning arrangement with Marseillan in the Hérault department of southern France.

His courtesy call to our newspaper was prompted in part by our coverage last November of the presentation of one of his country’s highest honours, the Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur, to Glaslough’s Sir Jack Leslie for his wartime service to the French nation – an element of his visit which assumed retrospective poignancy with Sir Jack’s sad passing on Monday last. The Ambassador on Friday paid a brief private visit to Sir Jack at Castle Leslie.

Monsieur Thébault came to our offices having toured the Monaghan Mushrooms plant, and was enthusiastic in his praise of the progressive nature of the food production facility. The Ambassador was acquainted with the Co Monaghan reputation for entrepreneurial acumen and in conversation with our staff was keen to learn more of the industrial profile of the county and the issues that were of current concern to its people.

The Ambassador seemed to take studious note when our editor Peter Hughes pointed out that Monaghan Town itself had yet to find a formal twinning partner. Brexit, poor broadband coverage and the current oral hearing into the EirGrid electricity interconnector project also figured in the conversation as the urbane French envoy met staff members and gained an insight into some of the finer details of provincial newspaper production.


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