independent

Wednesday 23 July 2014

'The atmosphere in the room was just electric'

Michael Moran

Published 15/04/2014|05:40

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Andy Rogers meets the Queen in Buckingham Palace at the reception for members of the Irish Community in Britain prior to the State visit by President Michael D Higgins.

Ballymote native Andy Rogers was present to hear President Michael D Higgins address the joint houses of Lords and Parliament in Westminster.

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BALLYMOTE native Andy Rogers was present to hear President Michael D Higgins address the joint houses of Lords and Parliament in Westminster.

He was one of only 10 representatives from the Irish community invited to do so.

The founder and Chairman of the Sligo Business Network in London said: "The atmosphere in the room was just electric.

"People said it was every bit as good, if not better than when US President Barack Obama or German Chancellor Angela Merkel did likewise."

Andy described the President's State visit as "phenomenal." He said: "Firstly, it made you very proud to be Irish. That was one of the biggest emotions."

Andy felt the reception for the Irish community hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace prior to the visit "set the tone".

He added: "The Queen went out of her way to make it work.

"It was the beginning of something special."

Andy also attended a breakfast hosted in the Mansion House by the Lord Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

He was at a reception in the Imperial College by the Mayor of Dublin, Oisin Quinn.

He stressed there were important business aspects to the visit.

Andy said: "At the Irish Embassy, the Tanaiste hosted an event for Enterprise Ireland to highlight 20 new businesses from Ireland.

"After the Banquet in the Guildhall, we found ourselves ringing the bell in the London Stock Exchange the following morning.

"The Taoiseach also addressed 250 members of the Irish international business network.

"This has all taken Irish business to another level."

Andy said the Banquet at the Guildhall and the 'Ceiliuradh' concert at the Royal Albert Hall were other outstanding highlights.

He added: "The entire State visit was an outstanding success."

Sligo Champion

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