9 APRIL 2021
With only three months to go before the launch of the 2021 edition of the Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival, I was delighted to hold the 5th meeting of the festival’s organising committee today. Still a lot of work to do to finalise the budget and programme of our weekend-long event which will take place on 9, 10 and 11 July in Limerick, but we are getting there! For more about the festival, please follow @LimerickWild on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
5 MARCH 2021
A pleasure to meet today with two specialists of the battle of Landen/Neerwinden, Messers. Wim Uyttebroek and Eric Wauters, and with Mr Nicholas Whyte, Belgium-based descendent of Honora Burke’s family! Some great opportunities for cooperation in the near future. More on this soon. #SarsfieldHomecoming
4 March 2021
Really happy to meet with the committee of the Society for Old Lucan this evening to answer their questions about the #SarsfieldHomecoming Project.
2 March 2021
Click here to listen to the interview I gave to Denis Holton on Wired FM about the 2021 edition of the Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Fesrtival and the Sarsfield Homecoming Project.
22 February 2021
Fascinating conversation today with Dr René Gapert, forensic anthropologist, about the various techniques used to analyze and identify skeleton remains (from DNA sampling to facial reconstruction)! Thank you for your time and advice Dr Gapert.
21 February 2021
Click here to listen back to the interview given yesterday to Trevor Anderson on Live95fm ‘In the County’ and David O’Brien (Limerick Trust CEO) about the latest developments in the Sarsfield Homecoming Project.
20 FEBRUARY 2021
I am delighted to announce that, following my call for assistance, the Service historique de la Défense (the history department of the French defense ministry) got back to me and have offered their help in our search for Patrick Sarsfield’s remains!
19 February 2021
New developments for the Sarsfield Homecoming Project. We can now reveal that the site where we believe Patrick Sarsfield to be buried is still accessible nowadays! Watch a full explanation here.
16 February 2021
The Sarsfield Homecoming project is making national news today (pictures is an article in The Independent)! Check out my radio interview with Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk and click on the following titles to read articles: Irish Times, RTE News, Irish Examiner, Limerick Leader, Limerick Post and I Love Limerick.
26 January 2021
This year, the Embassy of France in Ireland, in association with the Alliance française network and local cultural partners, has organised an extended Green Night of Ideas from 26 January to 28 February. Among the many films showns, Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s 2009 documentary Home will be screened online for free and Irish schools have been invited to watch it and use an educational toolkit with their pupils. Six schools from the Midwest region will be taking part in this initiative (click here to read an article from ilovelimerick). The Consular Agencies of France in Limerick and Galway have also partnered with the Embassy of France to organise the Irish premiere of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s latest film, Legacy.
16 January 2021
I wish to extend my sympathy to the family and friends of Normandy veteran Henry Place, chevalier de l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur, who passed away yesterday in Limerick. Forever grateful to him and all the brave soldiers who fought to liberate and Europe from Nazi occupation. May he rest in peace. Click here to read an Irish Times article about Mr Place dating from 2015.
31 December 2020
24 DECEMBER 2020
10 DECEMBER 2020
Delighted to attend the Short Shorts from Europe Film Festival at Limerick Institute of Technology tonight, an event organised by EUNIC Ireland, with the support of the French embassy in Ireland and the Limerick School of Arts & Design. An interesting selection of European short films!
1 DEcember 2020
The Sarsfield Homecoming Project and the Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival made national news! Watch this TV report from RTE1 here.
26 November 2020
Sent today: a letter to the Mayor (‘Bourgmestre’) of Huy, in Belgium, presenting the #SarsfieldHomecoming project and asking for his support in trying to locate the remains of the 1st Earl of Lucan. Hoping he’ll be able to provide us with an ancient map of the town, for a start…
14 November 2020
#Sarsfieldhomecoming PROJECT UPDATE! What happened to Patrick Sarsfield during the last years of his life and what exactly do we know about his death?
I asked asked Dr Liam Irwin, one of the best specialists of the period… Watch here
Delighted to co-chair today the first general meeting of the organising committee of the 2021 Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival. Thank you to all the participants for accepting to join the Consular Agency of France in Limerick and the Limerick Civic Trust, co-organisers of the Treaty city’s new annual festival, to help us put together what will clearly be an outstanding programme of events for July 2021!
12 NoVEMBER 2020
Delighted to have taken part today in the ‘Soirée des associations’, an evening dedicated to French associations in Ireland, organised by the embassy.
6 Novemer 2020
Sincere thanks to Ms Uí Ghríofa, principal of Laurel Hill Colaiste and French teacher Ms Eileen O’Connor for giving me the opportunity to pay tribute to Samuel Paty by discussing freedom of speech with their pupils. Thanks also to students Dharma and Eileen for their reading of the two French texts (pictured here).
6 October 2020
Communiqué de presse conjoint de l’Agence consulaire de Limerick et du Limerick Civic Trust.
2 October 2020
Some great news came through the letterbox this morning! More on this soon…
25 September 2020
Delighted to meet today with Dr Mihai Bilauca, economic co-ordinator of the Irish-Romanian Cultural and Business Association to discuss possible future local cooperation to promote EU solidarity and the benefits of intercultural exchanges.
11 September 2020
Always a pleasure to meet with Jerry Hallissey, Head of Business Development, Shannon Foynes Port Company, to discuss the SFPC’s ambitious development plans. Huge potential for Limerick/Foynes to become a nerve centre for cargo imports/exports to and from continental Europe (via French ports) and North America.
10 July 2020
A special ceremony was held on Merchants Quay today to commemorate the Flight of the Wild Geese and celebrate the friendship between France and Ireland. This ceremony was replacing the second edition of the Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival which was scheduled to take place at King John’s Castle on 12 July and which had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was jointly organised by the Consular Agency of France in Limerick and the Limerick Civic Trust, with the support of the Limerick City & County Council, the 12th Infantry Battalion of the Defences Forces and members of the Limerick branches of veteran associations (Irish Naval Association, I.U.N.V.A. and O.N.E.). Click here to read an article by RTE news and here to read an article by the Limerick Post and here to watch a video of the event.
22 April 2020
The Consular Agency of France in Limerick showed its support to the staff of the Intensive Care Unit of University Hospital Limerick today by delivering over 160 treats generously created by chef Thomas Fialon (The French Table Restaurant and BIA café). We are all in this together!
31 March 2020
15 March 2020
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, please note that all public engagements of the Honorary Consul of France in Limerick are suspended until further notice.
27 February 2020
Delighted to meet Patrick Cullivan tonight and attend his amazing one-man show both hilarious and so instructive! Learning so much about the events that led to 1798, the famous Year of the French. Thanks to Belltable Limerick and Marketa Dowling for the invite.
Thank you to the International Education Division of the University of Limerick, and in particular to Denise Flannery (Deputy Director) and Danielle McNamara (in charge of incoming students) for meeting with me today and for putting a room at my disposal so I could establish proxies for French Erasmus students willing to vote in the upcoming French local elections.
14 February 2020
It was a privilege to attend the Future Living conference at the Limerick Institute of Technology. A great range of speakers, including renowned biochemist Sir David King. Thank you to Prof. Vincent Cunnane, President of LIT, and his team for the warm welcome. Hoping to develop the links between LIT and France in the near future.
30 January 2020
I was delighted to attend the unveiling of Limerick’s new visual identity at St Mary’s Cathedral today. Click here for a great report by Meghann Scully for the Limerick Post Show capturing the sense of excitement around the event! #LimerickEdgeEmbrace
On the day of the first event to appear on the calendar of the European Expo 2020 (The Night of Ideas), I was delighted to attend a ceremony at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick during which the European flag was raised. As a sign of support to the European Expo, MIC has pledged to have the EU flag fly high on campus throughout the year. You can watch a video of the event here and learn more about the European Expo 2020 by clicking here.
Full house and great success for Limerick’s first ever ‘Nuit des Idées’ at One Pery Square with some mesmerizing musical and theatrical performances, a two-hour long French documentary (Demain by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent), a wine reception offered by the Consular Agency of France in Limerick and Alliance française Limerick, and a lively conversation between the audience and our three special guests, Dr John Morrissey (Department of Geography at Mary Immaculate College), Ms Madeleine Lyes (Irish Pedestrian Network / +CityxChange) and Ms Roisin Buckley (Limerick Cycle Bus).
26 January 2020
Thanks to French Senator Christophe-André Frassa (representative for French nationals living abroad) who, after a series of meetings in Dublin and Cork yesterday, came especially to Limerick with UFE Irlande President Charles Eder so we could meet over breakfast this morning. An interesting conversation about Limerick, the French presence in the Midwest region and the upcoming 2nd edition of the Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Fest (at King John’s Castle on 12 July).
20 January 2020
It was an absolute pleasure to visit the People’s Museum. The work done by its curator Dr Rose Anne White, her team and the Limerick Civic Trust is nothing short of fantastic! A must-see Limerick attraction for locals and tourists alike. Thank you for the tour!
16 January 2020
Thank you to Lt Col Robert Kiely for inviting me to Sarsfield Barracks before his departure to Syria to meet with Sgt Major Stan Hurley and Sgt Ronan Corcoran to discuss the organisation of the 2nd edition of the Limerick Bastille Day Wild Geese Fest which will be held at King John’s Castle on Sunday 12 July 2020. Delighted to have yet again the full support of the Irish Defence Forces for that commemoration of the Flight of the Wild Geese and celebration of the great friendship between France and Ireland!
14 January 2020
The Business Development team of the Shannon Foynes Port Company presented their ambitious expansion plans to H.E. Ambassador Crouzat at the French embassy in Dublin today. Hoping that French businesses and French port and shipping companies will become a key part of that plan!
9 January 2020
It was a pleasure to attend a delicious business lunch and great presentation of the exciting Limerick Food Professionals project at The French Table restaurant last week with Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan and Network Manager Anne Morris, with Irish Hotels Federation President Elaina Fitzgerald Kane and Shannon branch Chairperson Dermot Kelly and with Director of the Office of the President of University of Limerick Marta Guzniczak. Merci Chef Thomas Fialon, co-owner Deirdre Fialon, Project Development Manager Patricia Moloughney and all the Limerick Food Professionals team for your great hospitality and best of luck for the launch of what will hopefully become one of Ireland’s centres of excellence in the training of restaurant staff and future food business owners.
1 January 2020
31 December 2019
16 December 2019
Thank you to UL President Dr Des Fitzgerald and Irish World Academy of Music & Dance Director Dr Sandra Joyce for their warm welcome at the University of Limerick today to talk about adding a French touch to the upcoming North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 2020 to be held in Limerick from 24 to 28 June. A fruitful meeting with them and Dr Niall Keegan (NAFCo2020 Chair), Dr Orfhlaith Ní Bhriain (Irish World Academy of Music & Dance) and Dr Pippa Little (Assistant Arts Officer, Limerick City & County Council). More on this soon!
6 December 2019
2 December 2019
Annual meeting of the ‘conseil d’orientation stratégique’ of the embassy’s cultural services in Dublin yesterday. Brace yourselves for a year packed with fantastic cultural events supported by the French embassy in Ireland in 2020! In Limerick, watch out for Nuit des Idées, EuropeanExpo 2020, Bastille Day Wild Geese Festival, Erasmus Days 2020, ADEFFI 2020 and much more to be announced soon! Stay tuned!
19 November 2019
Thank you to Shane Hartigan, Leo Colgan & Denis Ahern (pictured) of Integrated Media Solutions for inviting me to visit their Limerick head quarters today. IMS is one of many companies in Midwest Ireland willing to do business with France. Some great job opportunities to be announced soon. Stay tuned!
18 November 2019
Thank you to Jerry Hallissey, Head of Business Development of the Shannon Foynes Port Company for inviting me to visit the great port facilities at their site in Foynes. Good follow up meeting and huge potential for direct import/export between the Midwest region and France. More on this soon!
15 November 2019
I was delighted to attend the launch of the Limerick Electronic Arts Festival (LEAF 2020) at St Mary’s Cathedral today at the invitation of the organisers Joe Clarke (CWB, LEAF Promoter), Paul Boland (CWB, LEAF Producer) and Sheila Deegan (Limerick City & County Council). A pleasure to meet futurist Anne Lise Kjaer and watch great performances by Chime Out choir and Glasshouse Music. Looking forward to seeing the full programme of events. Click here to read an article from I Love Limerick about today’s launch.
11 November 2019
Such a pleasure to attend the 7th annual MidWest Tourism Ball of the Irish Hotels Federation this evening at the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare. Congratulations to the award winners and thank you to Shannon Group plc for their kind invitation and to the organisers for their warm welcome.
10 November 2019
It was a privilege and an honour to attend the very moving Remembrance Day ceremony organised by the Limerick branch of the Royal British Legion today and to lay a wreath on behalf of the embassy of France in memory of all those who lost their lives on the battlefields of World War 1 and World War 2. Lest we forget.
6 November 2019
So glad to have attended the media event today at which Shannon Airport and Aer Lingus announced the opening of a new route to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport! This is such good news for tourism and businesses in the Mid-West region and for all the people who have relentlessly called for this to happen! Click here to read a press release from the Consular Agency of France in Limerick, here to listen to Clare FM Gavin Grace’s report on today’s announcement and here to watch a video of the event.
5 November 2019
Thank you to the Limerick Chamber of Commerce for a very instructive briefing on the Copenhagen Economics report on the impact of aviation policy on the economic development of the Midwest region. Huge potential for Shannon Airport to become a major European hub with some governmental support!
28 October 2019
Such a privilege to open the Saint Martin’s Fair Conference this evening celebrating the cosmopolitan nature of medieval Limerick alongside the Mayor of Limerick City & Council, Cllr Michael Sheahan, and Her Excellency Else Berit Eikeland, Ambassador of Norway to Ireland. Thank you to the organiser Dr Cathy Swift for putting together such a great event. Click here for the full programme.
16 October 2019
Great turnout for the launch of Alliance française Limerick’s monthly French Film Club at One Pery yesterday evening in the comfort of the magnificent Drawing Room. Delicious canapés and wine generously provided by One Pery. Congratulations to Alliance française Limerick’s Cultural Officer Maria Hennessey, Cultural Coordinator Anne Blondelle and Teacher Claire Lapergue without whom that great initiative would not have been possible. Can’t wait for next month’s film!
14 October 2019
Delighted to attend a very successful networking event organised by Business France Ireland with Agence de Développement Economique de la Région Occitanie and Aerospace Valley at Shannon Airport today where no less 13 French aeronautical companies met with Shannon’s International Aviation Services Centre. Shannon Airport and the Midwest region as a major European hub in the making!
13 October 2019
What a pleasure to meet with the Ballina-Killaloe/Basse-Goulaine twinning committees this weekend. Thank you to Patricia and Eddie Moore for being such great hosts on Saturday and to Clare and Tipperary County Councils for their warm welcome yesterday in Ballina. A great evening spent in the company of Co. Tipperary cathaoirleach Cllr Joe Hannigan, Co. Clare Cllr Tony O’Brien, and Basse-Goulaine Deputy Mayor José Godinho and Municipal Councillors Frank Cosnefroy & Sylvie Hary celebrating the developing friendship between Ballina-Killaloe and Basse-Goulaine.
7 October 2019
A pleasure and an honour to meet the members of the Limerick branch of the Organisation of National Ex-Service men & women today. Thank you to President Garrett Ryan and all the other veterans for their warm welcome. ONE members are doing such a great job in remembering those who died in service and supporting those who retired. So sad to hear that some veterans involved in peace-keeping missions for the United Nations are sleeping rough. Support the ‘Sleeping Flags‘ initiative! Looking forward to seeing ONE members again for Remembrance Day. (Thanks to Denis Carroll for the beautiful book Images of Sarsfield Barracks and to Branch Secretary Christopher Barr for the photos).
Thank you to Shannon Foynes Port Company’s Harbour Master Michael Kennelly and Business Managers Sean McGowan and Mark Connolly for a very detailed presentation of the SFPC’s ambitious expansion plans focused on connections with French ports. Between Shannon Airport and the Shannon Foynes Port Company, the Midwest region could soon become home to two major European hubs with direct links to France, aka Ireland’s soon-to-be closest EU neighbour.
30 September 2019
A book of condolence in memory of former President Jacques Chirac was opened by the Consular Agency of France in Limerick on Monday 30 September, declared National Day of Mourning in France. Some very touching tributes to the late President and a much-appreciated visit by Senator Maria Byrne. Thank you to Alliance française de Limerick for accommodating us.
21 September 2019
Delighted to attend the great gathering of Irish/Breton twinning committees organised by the Association Bretagne Irlande & Pays Celtes on board Brittany Ferries Pont-Aven. A great way to share good practices and ideas of exchanges between twinned cities. A pleasure to meet members of the very active Lahinch/Arzon twinning committees from both sides of the Celtic sea and to have lunch with Cllr Martin Ryan (Leas-Chathaoirleach of the Municipal District of Cappamore-Kilmallock) and Julie Hogan and Edel O’Flynn (members of the Cappamore/Langonnet Twinning Committee).
9 September 2019
Very glad to take part in the second workshop on the organisation of European Expo at the Limerick City Council this morning and then to attend the official launch of that fantastic initiative at the Hunt Museum with former Mayor and current Cathaoirleach of the Metropolitan District of Limerick Cllr James Collins. A lot of exciting events in the making to bring Europe to Limerick in 2020 thanks to John Moran’s drive and vision and under the leadership of Jill Cousin, CEO of the Hunt Museum. European Expo will be organised in partnership with the European Investment Bank and with the support of Limerick City Council and the city’s higher education institutions. More on this soon.
29 August 2019
A very instructive meeting today at Shannon Airport with Mayor of Clare Cllr Cathal Crowe, Shannon Group CEO & President of Shannon Chamber of Commerce Mary Considine, Shannon Group Director of Public Affairs Caroline Kelleher and Head of Communications Nandi O’Sullivan, Shannon Airport Managing Director Andrew Murphy, as well as Cllr Tony O’Brien (Chair of Clare County Council Twinning Committee) and Ann Reynolds (Clare County Council Corporate Services). Thank you to Managing Director Andrew Murphy for the warm welcome and guided tour of the the airport’s facilities. Looking forward to working together with all the meeting attendees to strengthen the links between France and County Clare. Click here to read a press release from the Clare Echo.
14 July 2019
First ever large-scale celebration of Bastille Day and launch of Limerick’s annual Wild Geese Festival at King John’s Castle today! Thank you to Mayor Michael Sheahan, to the Arts Office of the Limerick City & County Council and, in particular, to Sheila Deegan for their decisive support. Thanks also to Shannon Heritage, our host, to the Irish Defence Forces and to all the volunteers without whom today’s great event could not have happened: Mr Thomas Sheehan, President of the French Foreign Legion Association of Ireland, Mr Cornelius O’Sullivan and the En Garde Association members and Ms Eileen O’Connor and the Board of Directors of Alliance française Limerick. See you all on 12 July 2020 for an even bigger event! (pictures are from Shauna Kennedy, Morning Star Photography). Click here to watch RTE1’s coverage of the event.
14 July 2019
Such an honour to attend the National Commemoration Day ceremony in Limerick and pay tribute to all the Irishmen and Irishwomen who died in past wars or on UN missions. Thank you to Mayor Sheahan for the invite and to Limerick City & Council, the veterans and the Defence Forces for their very warm welcome.
10 July 2019
Thank you to DesignPro Automation and its sister company DesignPro Renewables for inviting me to meet their teams and visit their facilities in Rathkeale. Both companies have extensive links with France and some potential opportunities for further connections were discussed at our meeting today. Something to keep in mind for the future. Click here to find out more.
6 July 2019
Great meeting in Carrigaline today with my fellow French honorary consuls Catherine Gagneux and Josselin Le Gall, with Jim Kelly (President of Carrigaline Twinning Association) and Michelle Murphy (Public Relations Officer), as well as with Jean-Claude Quer and Sylvie Rufet (President and former President of Bretagne-Irlande et Pays Celtes). A lot of fruitful exchanges on the organisation of a major gathering of Breton-Irish twinning committees in Ringaskiddy on 21 September 2019 onboard Brittany Ferries’ MV Pont Aven. More on this soon.
28 June 2019
Thank you to Sgt Andrew O’Riordan and his colleagues from Henry Street and Mayorstown Garda Stations for taking me for a tour of their offices today. Great to learn about all the procedures French nationals might have to go through and meet with the dedicated men and women who keep our community safe. Really felt like one of them in the end!
24 June 2019
A very fruitful meeting with Mayor of Limerick City & County Michael Sheahan this evening. Some exciting events in the making to celebrate the friendship between France and France in Limerick… Stay tuned!
19 JUNE 2019
Delighted to have been invited to take part in a fascinating two-hour long brainstorming workshop organised by John Moran (Chairman of the Hunt Museum) and Jill Cousins (Museum Director) about ‘European Expo’, an inspiring and very ambitious project which will hopefully take place in Limerick in 2020. More on it soon.
18 June 2019
Thank you to Deputy Mayor Adam Teskey and all the guests who attended the reception offered by H.E. Mr Stéphane Crouzat, Ambassador of France to Ireland, at the Limerick Chamber of Commerce, on the occasion of the award of my exequatur. Many thanks also to Ms Dee Ryan, CEO of the Limerick Chamber for hosting the event.
Looking forward to working with all the invitees in the months to come to further develop the already strong connections between France and counties Limerick, Clare and Tipperary. More photos from Morning Star Photography can be found here and a great video courtesy of the Limerick Chamber can be watched here.
18 JUNE 2019
Thank you to John Moran, Chairman of the Hunt Museum, for inviting me along with H.E. Ambassador Stéphane Crouzat for a private tour of the great exhibition of Osbourne & Lavery’s paintings. A must see at the Hunt Museum in Limerick until 30 September.
14 June 2019
Launch of the first step of the SisterVillesIRL project aimed at enabling French-Irish twinned cities to share examples of good practice with others. Follow @SisterVillesIRL on Twitter for more details.
13 June 2019
Fascinating meeting today with Thomas Fialon, chef and owner of The French Table restaurant, as well as BIA café and La Pâtisserie (all in Limerick), to discuss his exciting project of founding a Limerick Food Academy. The aim of this academy would be to train future restaurant staff and managers and meet the need for highly-qualified personnel of hotels and restaurants in the region and beyond. More on this soon.
10 June 2019
Absolutely delighted to meet today with amateur historian Cornelius O’Sullivan, President of ‘En garde’, an association of Irish people who, for the past 20 years, have dedicated their spare time to re-enacting episodes of French-Irish history to celebrate the longstanding friendship between our two countries. Our meeting today will pave the way for the organisation of a number of events in Limerick and the Mid-West, hopefully starting very soon… Stay tuned!
30 May 2019
Happy to attend the launch of Dominique Le Meur‘s latest book La promesse de Dublin at The Granary Library in Limerick this evening, along with my predecessor Marie Hackett. A Lecturer in French at University of Limerick, Dominique Le Meur has already written 5 other novels, all set in Ireland.
30 May 2019
Thank you to BDO Limerick for their invitation to visit their new offices on O’Connell Street this evening. BDO is one of the largest accountancy firms in the world, employing 105+ people in Limerick and has a network of 1,200 associates in 45 offices in France. Very nice meeting Paul Marron, Speciality Business Manager at Limerick- based Grassland Agro, part of the French firm Groupe Roullier.