Diplomatic tour showm what Leitrim has to offer

Leitrim County Council rolled out the red carpet for a host of dignitaries last week, showcasing all this county has to offer in a drive to attract foreign investment and boost tourism.

Foreign diplomats from 15 countries across the world, including ambassadors, spent three days on a promotional visit to County Leitrim organised by Leitrim County Council and the Leitrim County Development Board.

Diplomats from some of the world's leading economies were the guests of honour in Leitrim and included ambassadors from Iran, Norway, Brazil, Ethiopia and the Czech Republic, and trade and other counsellors from countries including Japan, China, Germany, Belgium, Lithuania, Lesotho.

"The idea for the Embassy Briefing visit to Leitrim arose out of the "Leitrim…A New Life Expo" in Dublin in June of this year where a number of ambassadors attended the event and expressed an interest in learning more about County Leitrim," said Leitrim County Manager, Ms Jackie Maguire.

The three day diplomatic drive included visits to local industry and tourist attractions and allowed the guests an opportunity to meet local politicians and business people.

Last Wednesday the group paid a visit to the Masonite factory outside Carrick-on-Shannon and were given an outline of the company and a guided tour of the facility.

They then travelled on the Council's offices in Carrick-on-Shannon where they were greeted by a lone piper and and warmly welcomed to the Council Chamber by Cathaoirleach, Cllr Damian Brennan.

The County Manager then outlined all the economic and tourism benefits Co Leitrim has to offer.

The Ambassador of Norway, on behalf of the group, then thanked everyone in Leitrim both for the invite and very warm welcome and said it was important for them to get out of Dublin and experience the real Ireland and what it has to offer.

The diplomatic corps dined in The Landmark Hotel that night and after dinner were addressed by Leitrim village man, Pat Farrell, Chief Executive of the Banking Federation of Ireland.

On Thursday, the group visited The Food Hub in Drumshanbo, and Glencar Waterfall and then lunched in Manorhamilton.

They then toured the Organic Centre in Rossinver and the Merenda factory in Manorhamilton. That evening they were treated to an evening of traditional Irish music by Leitrim's finest exponents of the art, the Lennon Brothers, in The Dock.

On Friday the group visited Bank of America Headquarters in Carrick-on-Shannon and toured the town by foot and on water before returning to Dublin.

"The purpose of the visit was to highlight both the economic and tourist attributes of County Leitrim on an international stage," said the County Manager.

"We were delighted to welcome diplomats from fifteen countries to visit some of the leading companies which have located in Leitrim, experience the stunning landscape and visitor attractions on offer in our county and to meet with a range of local public representatives and enterprise development agencies," she added.

"This visit forms part of the overall project by Leitrim County Council and Leitrim County Development Board to show that our county is open for business," said Ms Maguire.


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