Gorey Guardian - - NEWS - By SARA GA­HAN

Gorey Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict Coun­cil ex­tended a visit­ing del­e­ga­tion to a civic re­cep­tion last week when the French Am­bas­sador of Ire­land, Stephane Crouzat, was tour­ing north Wex­ford,

In­vited by mem­bers of the Gorey Mu­nic­i­pal Dis­trict, the pur­pose of the trip was to ex­plore how Wex­ford and France could fur­ther de­velop his­toric, trade, ed­u­ca­tional and cul­tural links.

Mr Crouzat, and his Sci­en­tific and Ed­u­ca­tional At­tache, Marc Dau­mas, spent last Thurs­day in north Wex­ford, visit­ing Creagh Col­lege, Ferns Cas­tle, Ir­ish Coun­try Meats and The Hatch Lab.

The Am­bas­sador first called to Creagh Col­lege where he met with the fifth year Pol­i­tics and So­ci­ety class to dis­cuss his ca­reer as a diplo­mat, Ir­ish-Franco re­la­tions and the fu­ture of the Euro­pean Union. Then he spoke with the se­nior cy­cle stu­dents who study French and spoke with them in the lan­guage. Mr Crouzat stressed the im­por­tance of learn­ing lan­guages and en­cour­aged the stu­dents to visit or even study in France.

Then it was on to the Nor­man Ferns Cas­tle, where he was given a guided tour by Christina Power. He also talked about the up­com­ing Ferns Her­itage Fes­ti­val with or­gan­iser Catherine McPart­lan. Wex­ford County Coun­cil and Ferns De­vel­op­ment Group are keen to pro­mote and de­velop the Nor­man con­nec­tions be­tween Ire­land and France.

A visit to Ir­ish Coun­try Meats (ICM) at Camolin was next where MR Crouzat was greeted by man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Joe Hy­land and his team, in­clud­ing French na­tive and Mas­ter Butcher at the plant, Pierre Le­lion. In a pre­sen­ta­tion, Joe pointed out that ICM was the largest lamb meat pro­ces­sor in Ire­land and that France was their largest ex­port mar­ket. The visit­ing party were treated to sam­ples of lamb pre­pared by chef, Emma Keary.

The fi­nal stop was to the Hatch Lab in Gorey. Mr Crouzat had a brief meet­ing with County Coun­cil Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Tom En­right, along with Jim Hughes and Diar­muid Dev­ereux of the Gorey Cham­ber of Com­merce, and ex­plored how fur­ther busi-

ness op­por­tu­ni­ties could be de­vel­oped.

A civic re­cep­tion was held af­ter­wards, hosted by the Chair­man of the Gorey Dis­trict Cllr John He­garty. It was at­tended by lo­cal busi­nesses, guests and the French com­mu­nity in North Wex­ford.

Gorey has been ac­tive in de­vel­op­ing a num­ber of links with Bayeux and Nor­mandy and it is hoped that these will grow fur­ther in the near fu­ture.

Cllr Mal­colm Byrne, who took part in Mr Crouzat’s visit of north Wex­ford, said af­ter Brexit, France will be Ire­land’s clos­est neigh­bour in the Euro­pean Union.

‘We have real pos­si­bil­i­ties for all sorts of ex­change and new busi­ness and the French party gen­uinely en­joyed their visit as well as find­ing it very in­for­ma­tive,’ said Cllr Byrne. ‘We have chal­lenges here in Wex­ford. We need, for in­stance, to im­prove the ca­pac­ity and man­age­ment of Ross­lare Euro­port, but we must also now seize the op­por­tu­ni­ties of closer links with our Gal­lic neigh­bour.’

Hatch Lab man­ager John O’Con­nor and French Am­bas­sador Stephane Crouzat.

Cllr Fion­ntáin Ó Súil­leab­háin, dis­trict man­ager Amanda Byrne, Gorey Cham­ber CEO Diar­muid Dev­ereux, Cllr Mal­colm Byrne, Am­bas­sador Stephane Crouzat, Cllr JOhn He­garty, Wex­ford County Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Tom En­right, James Browne TD and In­no­vate CEO Jim Hughes. Cllr Mal­colm Byrne, Hatch Lab man­ager John O’Con­nor and French Am­bas­sador Stephane Crouzat. Nora Kin­sella, Brid­get O’Con­nor and Sarah Dono­van.

The Book Cafe pro­pri­etor Ben Cor­ri­gan and man­ager Aneta Kel­czukon­sha.

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