In June, Enniscorthy played host to a visit from the French Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Vincent Guérend. Monsieur Guérend spoke to a gathering at a press reception to mark the 225th anniversary of 1798. The event, in Enniscorthy Castle, was also attended by County Wexford Chamber President Brendan Crowley.
The ambassador said he was keen to revive links between Wexford and Normandy, as Ireland marked the 225th anniversary of 1798. Now, a new chapter for Ireland and France has opened up post-Brexit. “France is Ireland’s closest EU neighbour,” he said, adding that this relationship makes a difference when it comes to trade routes. In particular, he references Rosslare Europort and its shipping links with ports in France.
Monsieur Guérend joined historians Liam Chambers, of University of Limerick, and Brian O’Cléirigh, from Oulart, in a conversation on the ‘The Ideals of Revolution: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité – how the French Revolution impacted Irish Rebellion’.
The event took place at the Presentation Arts Centre and was being organised as part of the overall programme of events making the 225th anniversary of the 1798 Rebellion. Music was provided by the Irish and French musicians of The Allabair Trio, including Wexford-based singer Melanie O’Reilly. The event was kindly hosted in conjunction with Wexford County Council, Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media, the Wexford Normandy Cultural Association and Melanie O’Reilly.
Pictured at the Press Reception in June for the French Ambassador to mark the 225th anniversary of 1798 were (l-r): Brendan Crowley, President, County Wexford Chamber; the French Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Vincent Guérend; and Melanie O’Reilly, secretary of the Wexford Normandy Cultural Association.