Visit of HE Ambassador Loyola Hearn, Ambassador of Canada to Ireland

The close historical and cultural ties that bind the Oriel region with Canada were marked recently by the visit to Dundalk Institute of Technology of the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, HE Ambassador Loyola Hearn. Ambassador Hearn was welcomed by DkIT President Mr Denis Cummins and Dr Bob McKiernan, Head of the School of Informatics and Creative Arts. Other distinguished visitors on the occasion included Senator Terry Brennan of Carlingford, Atlantic Academy of the Arts Chairperson, Mr Gary Mills, and Board members Dr Tim Campbell, Director of the Saint Patrick Centre, Downpatrick and Professor JK Taaffe, Emeritus Dean of International Affairs, DIT. Ambassador Hearn and guests were treated to a musical welcome by Ceol Oirghialla harpists directed by Dr Helen Lawlor before being given a tour of the new facilities for Creative Arts in the Carroll Building. The guests then enjoyed a special recital programme from music students under the direction of Ms Siubhán Ó Dubháin and Dr Daithí Kearney including a rousing rendition of the Canadian National Anthem O Canada. Mr Tommy Fegan, Secretary General of the Atlantic Academy also entertained the guests to an impromptu session on the uilleann pipes. The Ambassador and guests were given a presentation by Ms Adele Commins, Head of Music, Ms Caroline Ó Sullivan, Head of Creative Media and Mr Tommy Fegan on the work of the Department of Music and Creative Media and the Atlantic Academy. The Ambassador emphasised the importance of the shared historical and musical links between the region and his homeland, in particular the legacy of Carlingford born Thomas Darcy Magee, the founding father of the Canadian Federation. He welcomed plans for future collaboration and looked forward to further detailed discussions on how the Embassy and DkIT could collaborate on joint Canadian/Irish ventures.

Ambassador Hearn congratulated the President on the initiatives being taken by the Department of Music and Creative Media and the Atlantic Academy to further Ireland Canada links and expressed his admiration for the magnificent facilities in the Carroll Building.

The distinguished guests were hosted by President Cummins at lunch provided by the Hospitality Section under the direction of Ms Brianain Erraught and Mr Aidan Hoare. The Ambassador and guests were deeply impressed by the expertise and professionalism of the students and conveyed their appreciation and thanks to President Cummins.

Pictured are:

Leigh Ann Halpin and Shauna Tully with the Ambassador

Jack Jordon and Kevin Lennon with the Ambassador

Staff and students of DkIT and the Department of Music and Creative welcome Ambassador Hearn