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St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Germany attended by Minister Heydon

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St. Patrick’s Day, March 2024, Germany: Not many countries possess a national day as recognisable as St Patrick’s Day. The Irish see the potential in the latter fact, and dispatch government ministers to virtually every corner of the globe for this occasion. This year Minister of State for Agriculture, Martin Heydon, travelled to Germany. Accompanied by Ambassador Dr Nicholas O’Brien, the Minister travelled to events held across Germany to mark St Patrick’s Day.

Functions began in Stuttgart, capital of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, with a reception hosted by Ireland’s Honorary Consul General in Stuttgart, Dr. Wolfgang Haefele.  A cross-representation of political and business leaders, together with the Irish community celebrated together. The Minister and Ambassador visited Hohenheim Agricultural University to meet with President Stephan Dabbert and discussed German-Irish cooperation of agricultural research. The Minister also met with Baden-Wurttemberg State Secretary for Agriculture, Sabine Kurtz.

Ambassador Dr Nicholas O’Brien addressing the audience on the St. Patrick’s Day reception

The next city to visit was Cologne, where Honorary Consul General Brigitte Wagner-Halswick hosted political and business leaders to celebrate the national day. This was followed by a visit to Frankfurt, where Ireland opened a career Consulate General in 2019. Organised by Consul General Patrick Jacques, the Minister met with political contacts, including Ms. Eileen O’Sullivan, Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt, who is of Irish heritage.

Then, on to Berlin, where the Minister and Ambassador met with Dr. Ophelia Nick, State Secretary for Agriculture.  The Minister attended business events, including an Irish food promotion event organised by Bord Bia, the Government’s food promotion agency.  The Ambassador hosted two very well-attended receptions, for the diplomatic corps, political and official leaders, including many members of the Bundestag; and an event for the Irish community.

The final stop on the Minister’s itinerary was Munich, where the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade on mainland Europe is held. Events began with the ‘Ambassador’s Business Breakfast’ hosted by the Irish Business Network Munich.  The parade started at 12.00 with Mayor Dieter Reiter, Minister Heydon and Ambassador O’Brien, leading the parade in horse drawn carriages.  It is estimated that 50,000 people attended the parade under glorious sunshine.

Mayor Reiter sang Irish songs from the stage, together with famous Irish Eurovision winner Johnny Logan. In their speeches, the Minister spoke of the strong links between Ireland and Bavaria; and the Ambassador announced that the Government of Ireland will open a career Consulate General in Munich this summer.  Both the Government of Ireland and the Government of Munich provide financial support to the parade, which is organised by the Munich Irish Network. The parade was likewise attended by the US Consul General in Bavaria, Timothy Liston

There was a wonderful festive atmosphere at the parade and this rounded off the week-long St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Germany. 

For further information 

Irish Embassy in Germany: https://www.ireland.ie/en/germany/berlin/

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