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    President visits Irish in England

    By Noreen Bowden | March 2, 2010

    President Mary McAleese visited with the Irish community in Britain  over the past two days. Her visit included a tour of the 20120 Olympic site in East London, which afforded her an opportunity to talk to the Irish construction workers employed there.

    Out of the 9,000 workers on the site, 10% are Irish, according to an RTE report. The president said:

    ‘This very exciting project is proving very beneficial to Ireland on many levels, first of all, as you know, the construction industry in Ireland has come to a bit of a stand still and there are a lot of people looking for opportunities outside Ireland. Many of them have found those opportunities here, builders, surveyors, project managers, architects and anybody involved in the construction business hoping to get work here.

    ‘Evidence of the Irish contribution here is all around, the names on many of the hoardings are very very familiar, all associated with the Irish construction sector, I am very proud that 10% of the work force here is Irish. They are involved in everything from lifting the blocks to major architectural projects. That’s very good news. That’s at the construction phase, and then there is the fit out phase.

    ‘That’s a very important element for us in terms of supplying goods and services. I was talking to one contractor this morning who bringing in cladding from north of Dublin. A good example of work being generated and opportunities being generated back in Ireland thanks to the Oympic site.’

    During her visit, Ms McAleese also visited the Irish Centre in Reading. In London, she met the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas and the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain, as well as the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith.

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