A 16 person Scottish delegation led by Minister Ivan McKee, MSP, the Scottish Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation will take part in a 3 day trade mission to the West Donegal Gaeltacht from 17th October to the 19thOctober 2018. The trade mission will be hosted by Údarás na Gaeltachta and its Scottish partner, The West Lothian Chamber of Commerce.

The trade mission is the result of an invitation extended on a similar visit to meet the Irish Diaspora in Glasgow earlier this year by Minister Joe McHugh, T.D., the then Minister of State for The Irish Language, Gaeltacht and the Islands and Government Chief Whip, and representatives from Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

During this trade mission the delegates will visit the An Clochán Liath and Gaoth Dobhair areas, get a taste of the unique Gaeltacht culture and language and will make connections with a number of Údarás na Gaeltachta client companies and community organisations. The delegation will visit the state of the art Randox Teoranta facility in An Clochán Liath to see the potential of scale that exists in the Donegal Gaeltacht with the support of Údarás na Gaeltachta.

Páirc Ghnó Ghaoth Dobhair will also be another highlight for the mission including visits to a number of companies on the business park. They will hear from start-up businesses and agencies on the practicalities of setting up business in Ireland. The three day visit will also include a presentation and tour of [email protected] Dobhair, one of a network of 31 innovation and digital hubs being established by Údarás na Gaeltachta.

The minister and delegation will also visit Donegal Airport and meet with airport management and representatives from Loganair to further support Irish – Scottish links.

Micheál Ó hÉanaigh, Chief Executive Officer of Údarás na Gaeltachta, who accompanied Minister McHugh on his visit to Scotland in July 2018, was delighted to welcome the Scottish delegation to the Gaeltacht, “We are encouraged by the interest shown by the Scottish Delegation in this area of Donegal. This visit provides a valuable platform to showcase the Gaeltacht as a competitive location to establish a business and has a great deal to offer companies. I am delighted that in the coming days that they will be engaging with Gaeltacht businesses to explore and discuss potential business opportunities.”

“The links between North West Donegal and the West of Scotland are well-established and longstanding. The Donegal Gaeltacht is familiar to successive generations of Irish emigrants to the west of Scotland, many of whom come from Gaeltacht areas such as Gaoth Dobhair, Na Rosa and Cloich Chionnaola, and many have maintained regular contact with their relatives there. These initiatives are keen to build on existing connections, build new contacts and develop stronger economic ties between the Gaeltacht regions of Ireland and the West of Scotland. The Diaspóra na Gaeltachta project, included in our three year strategic plan, will endeavor to encourage the emigrant Gaeltacht community abroad or in Ireland to return home to the Gaeltacht, their families and communities and, thereby, bolster the Irish language as a community language in those areas.”

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