Tuesday, February 26th 2013
Griffin urges Govt to invite Royal couple to visit Irish shores
Fine Gael Kerry TD, Brendan Griffin, has urged the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore TD, to extend a formal invitation to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to visit Ireland. Deputy Griffin added that a visit by the Royal couple could help to boost the number of tourists coming here from the UK; a market which has been consistently declining in recent years. Deputy Griffin raised the matter in a Parliamentary Question.
“A visit by the Royal couple to Ireland would build on the strong relations that exist between this island and Britain, which reached a high point with the visit of Queen Elizabeth II in 2011. William and Kate are a hugely popular couple across the world, and I have no doubt that they would receive a very warm welcome if they came to Irish shores.
“The United Kingdom is our closest international neighbour and remains our most important tourism market; people from the UK made more than 2.7 million visits to Ireland last year. This represents a 3.6% decrease on the 2011 figure, and the British market has now been in decline for a number of years. A visit from William and Kate could help to encourage more British visitors to come here and experience all that Ireland has to offer.
“The Gathering provides the perfect opportunity to issue a formal State invitation to the couple, and I hope it could be issued sooner rather than later. I would be particularly keen to see the Royal couple make a visit to Kerry; where they could retrace the steps taken by Queen Victoria in the 1800s. And I’m sure we can all agree that no Royal visit would be complete without a visit to the Kingdom.
“I am encouraged by the positive response I received from the Tánaiste, who said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be very welcome to visit Ireland in the context of the close ties that exist between Britain and Ireland. I hope the Government will seriously consider my proposal and extend a formal State invitation to William and Kate.”