Forging links in London to highlight Longford’s potential

A major event to showcase the business and tourism potential of Co Longford will take place in London on October 25. The event aims to explore mutually-beneficial opportunities in the areas of trade, communications and culture between Longford and the diaspora in London.

A major event to showcase the business and tourism potential of Co Longford will take place in London on October 25. The event aims to explore mutually-beneficial opportunities in the areas of trade, communications and culture between Longford and the diaspora in London.

Supported by Longford Town Council and in association with Longford County Council, the event which will be hosted by His Excellency, the Irish Ambassador Mr Bobby McDonagh at the Irish Embassy in London and will provide a unique platform to which the people of this county can extend the hand of friendship and business ethic to its diaspora living and working in London. Minister for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD will also be in attendance and it is he who will launch the county’s “Programme of Events and Festivals” for The Gathering Ireland 2013 on the night. Longford artist Bernard Canavan will hold an exhibition of some of his work depicting the Irish in the UK and a new tourism App for Longford will also be officially launched. Those who have links or contacts in London are requested to email details to the address below so that all Longfordians in London will be in a position to come on board. “This is something very special and when I was elected town mayor last time round, I realised that this county had not been getting national support from a number of agencies in recent times,” Cllr Peggy Nolan told the Leader. “In fact it came to my attention that Longford had not gotten IDA support for three years, so I decided that Longford needed to be showcased.”

The seasoned public representative and creator of this unique and very special event in London, then contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs and also received the immediate backing of Minister Ring with regard to her proposals. A working committee was subsequently established and included Dan Rooney, Longford Town Clerk; Tim Caffrey, Longford County Manager; Mary Carleton Reynolds, County Librarian; Frankie Sheridan, Director of Services, Longford County Council; Cllr Séan Farrell, County Mayor and in the latter stages, Seamus Butler, Longford Chamber of Commerce. “We then secured the Irish Embassy in London and sought the support of the Irish media in London,” Cllr Nolan further explained. “At the moment we have 100 names of people in London who are connected or associated in any way to Longford and we want business people and associates from living in Longford as well. A group from Abbeyshrule will be there and given the fantastic achievements of the area in recent weeks, it will be a great honour to have them on board. This will be a night dedicated to all that is good about Longford. It will be a night where business leaders and our diaspora in London can connect and network and realise the pride and potential that is this county. Longford’s wonderful rich, diverse heritage and culture; its natural beauty and its geographical position in the centre of Ireland makes it one of the most attractive business and tourist locations in Ireland and that is what this night will show, because we want people to come here and set up businesses and companies in our town and enhance tourism as well.”

Michael Nevin, Longford County Enterprise Board, meanwhile encouraged all local businesses to get on board and make the most of what he described as “an opportunity for local businesses to connect with businesses in London”. “This will provide business people here with the opportunity to avail of Enterprise Ireland services and enable them to expand into new markets like London,” he added. “We want to promote Longford as a good place to do business and a place that is worth investing in.”

It has also emerged that Pat Glennon, MD Glennon Brothers will speak at the event in London and Mr Nevin concluded by saying, “This is Longford’s chance to shine; it provides a platform on which we can put our best foot forward and explore friendships, business ideas and expertise; an event where we can meet potential client partners in London. Anyone from Longford who has contacts in London should let us know so that they can be informed about this very positive event.”

Contact diaspora@longford.ie