WEXFORD SAYS G’DAY MATE!
THERE was a very special guest at Bree NS on Friday morning as students and staff welcomed Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews. Accompanied by local minister and past pupil Paul Kehoe, the ambassador fascinated the students with tales of life down under and told them about his life in Ireland as a diplomat and how it compares to his previous posts in Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Canberra and London.
A sports fantatic, there was plenty of banter between the ambassador and the students about the upcoming test matches between Australia and Ireland in the rugby. He was treated to a fantastic rendition of ‘Ireland’s Call’ sung by the students and was assured that Wexford’s own Tadhg Furlong would wreak havoc down under and that Australia would struggle to deal with ‘Typhoon Tadhg’.
Principal Mark Kelly spoke of the strong ties between Australia and Ireland, adding that many people from Ireland had made Australia their home. The ambassador then presented Mr Flynn with an Australian rugby scarf, before being treated to a special selection of local food and two special Bree pens from students Fionn and Niamh both of whom were born in Australia. Mr Andrews also got the chance to take in some traditional Irish dancing from the pupils, choreographed specially for the occasion
Minister Kehoe said it was a special occasion for students and staff to be able to meet and share stories with Ambassador Andrews. ‘I was delighted to be able to tell the ambassador about the village and how it is a major part of the fabric of Wexford,’ he said.
Following his visit to Bree, the ambassador travelled to Wexford for a meeting with senior county management. Then he was delighted to travel to Our Lady’s Island for an ecclesiastical tour before turning the sod on the Town and Village Renewal Scheme there.
His busy day was capped off by returning to Enniscorthy where he was lucky enough to attend the town’s famed Strawberry Festival’s launch. He met with members of the Enniscorthy Municipal District and even got the chance to sample some delicious Wexford strawberries. Mr Andrews spoke of the fine welcome that he had received right across the county, particularly thanking Bree Principal Mark Flynn and his pupils for the wonderful reception.
‘What I’ve been trying to do and one of my reasons in coming to Wexford is to get recognition for the relationships between our two countries that people often don’t hear about,’ he said, before stating that he would be interested in exploring ways of making Wexford attractive to Australian companies looking for a foothold in Europe.
Bree NS pupils, along with principal Mark Kelly, Minister Paul KehoeTD and deputy principal Anne O’Dowd, makiing a special presentation to the Australian Ambassador Richard Andrews during his recent visit to the school.
Australian Ambassador Richard Andrews with Fionn and Niamh English at Bree NS.
Australian Ambassador Richard Andrews with Cyril Wheelock and Minister Paul Kehoe at Wheelock’s Fruit Farm at Finchogue, Enniscorthy.