Wexford People - - NEWS - By PÁDRAIG BYRNE

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.

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