Breen presents Chinese President with picture of Irish heifer Xi Xingping

May 23rd, 2013 - Pat Breen

dsc_7995Fine Gael Clare TD and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pat Breen, presented the Chinese President, Xi Xingping, on Friday last with a picture of a Friesian heifer, which was named in his honour during the President’s visit to Co Clare last year. Deputy Breen was on a week-long visit to China as part of a bilateral and trade parliamentary delegation being led by the Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett TD.

The delegation held a one hour meeting with President Xi Xingping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Friday last.

“It was a great honour to meet with President Xi Xingping, who spoke of fond memories of his trip to Ireland last year, and in particular his visit to Co Clare. The President made particular reference to the Shannon Free Zone, and said that China was now following on the success of this model in a number of its regions.

“On the morning of the President’s visit to James Lynch’s farm in Sixmilebridge last year, a new calf was born and was subsequently named in his honour. It was a great privilege to present the President with a picture of the Friesian heifer, which is now 15 months old. The President, through his interpreter, conveyed his best wishes to the Lynch family, saying that his visit to the farm was the highlight of his trip and he fondly recalled drinking Irish coffee with the Lynch family.

“President Xi also said that he hoped he could become an Ambassador for the Cliffs of Moher, after I told him that many Chinese tourists have followed in his footsteps to stand in the spot where he stood during his visit to the cliffs last year.

“Our Meeting with the President, which was aired by Chinese national television, was a great opportunity to get positive coverage for Ireland and Co. Clare in China. In the year of the Gathering, any extra attention directed towards Ireland is to be welcomed.”

“This presentation was one of the lighter moments of our trade delegation to China, which was focussed on enhancing existing bilateral relations and promoting trade, tourism, cultural and educational links between Ireland and our Chinese counterparts.