Historic Visit of the Irish Prime Minister to Irish Studies
Taoiseach Enda Kenny Commends the Work of the School of Irish Studies
For the first time in more than six decades a sitting Irish Prime Minister has visited Montreal. On May 4, Taoiseach Enda Kenny had a breakfast meeting with members of the Irish community, senior administrators of Concordia University, as well as professors and students in the School of Irish Studies. Later in the day, the Montreal Chamber of Commerce hosted a lunch for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Taoiseach Kenny, with a sold-out attendance of five hundred community and business leaders. Speaking at the School of Irish Studies, Taoiseach Kenny stressed the importance of the mandate of Irish Studies, the need to teach about Ireland’s history and share its rich culture with others. “We have an important story to tell and we ourselves first need to understand it so that we can share it with the world.” Representatives of more than twenty Montreal Irish associations, including Patrick Shea, Vice-Chair of the CISF, met with the Taoiseach, who was accompanied by Ambassador Jim Kelly, as well as aides from several government departments. Concordia University was represented by Vice-President Roger Côté and André Roy, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. In welcoming the Taoiseach to the School and to Concordia University, Principal Michael Kenneally thanked the Irish Government for its ongoing support, and underlined that the creation of the School was the result of a unique partnership between Concordia University, members of the Irish community, and the Governments of Quebec, Canada and Ireland.