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20 Mar 2015

Minister Joe McHugh and football legend Packie Bonner lend a hand to boost tourism from Scotland

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Joe McHugh TD, was in Scotland last week, as part of a ‘Promote Ireland’ programme around St Patrick’s Day. During his visit, Minister McHugh attended a number of tourism events, including Tourism Ireland’s networking St Patrick’s ‘Tea-Party’, where tourism companies from the island of Ireland had the opportunity to meet, and do business with, Scottish coach tour operators. Football legend Packie Bonner also attended the ‘Tea-Party’.

Tourism Ireland’s St Patrick’s 2015 programme spanned Great Britain, Mainland Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, as well as emerging tourism markets like China, India, the Middle East and South Africa. More than 130 landmark buildings and iconic sites around the world went green to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. In Scotland, the beautiful Edinburgh Castle joined Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening for the first time this year; other ‘greenings’ there included Edinburgh Airport, as well as the SSE Hydro and the ‘Armadillo’ in Glasgow.

Elaine Murray, Tourism Ireland’s manager in Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Minister McHugh and Packie Bonner were with us in Scotland for the important St Patrick’s period, to help us deliver the message about the many great reasons to visit the island of Ireland this year. Tourism Ireland’s Global Greening initiative was even bigger and better this year, with some famous additions like the Colosseum in Rome and the Sacré Cœur basilica in Paris. Our aim is to bring a smile to the world and to convey the message that the island of Ireland offers the warmest of welcomes and great fun, as well as fantastic scenery and cultural activities.”

As well as the ‘Tea-Party’, tourism companies from the island of Ireland also promoted their product and holidays here to about 6,000 people at a special St Patrick’s family event in Glasgow’s Merchant Square. And Tourism Ireland in Scotland sponsored a special St Patrick’s breakfast in Coatbridge and the annual St Patrick’s Ball in Glasgow.

  David Cleary, Manor House & Irish Country Hotels; Pat Bourne, Ireland’s Consul General to Scotland; Minister Joe McHugh; Pauline Sweeney, Donegal Airport; and football legend Packie Bonner, at the St Patrick’s ‘Tea-Party’ in Glasgow.

Notes To Editors

  • Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
  • Tourism is the island of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry; responsible for in excess of 4% of GNP in the Republic of Ireland and employing approximately 200,000 people.
  • In 2014, we welcomed an estimated 8.6 million overseas visitors to the island of Ireland, delivering revenue of about €4.26 billion. Overseas tourism business accounts for 59% of all tourism revenue.
  • Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.Ireland.com, available in ten different language versions for over 30 individual markets around the world. In 2014, Ireland.com attracted about 14.25 million visitors.