Mayor of Drogheda Michelle Hall said it would have been nice to have been invited to meet with the French Ambassador as he visited Co Louth last week, however, she wasn’t informed he was coming to the county.
His Excellency Vincent Guerend, had a busy day in Dundalk on Wednesday January 26th visiting Louth County Council, DkIT and Dundalk Chamber of Commerce. While visiting Louth County Council, the Ambassador met with Cathaoirleach, Cllr Conor Keelan and the Chairman of Dundalk Municipal District, Cllr Kevin Meenan, as well as Chief Executive, Joan Martin.
However, Drogheda-based councillor Paddy McQuillan took exception to the fact that the First Citizen of the town wasn’t included in the welcoming party.
"It was totally disrespectful that the Mayor of Drogheda, Cllr Michelle Hall, was not invited to meet the French Ambassador,” said Cllr McQuillan. “I would like to know why, considering that we have connections with France”.
Cllr Hall said it would have been a nice opportunity to promote Drogheda, as it is twinned with a town just outside Paris. Meanwhile Ambassador Guerend was interested to hear from the Council on several matters, including the ‘Twinnings’ between Louth and France, Brexit and the Northern Ireland Protocol, and trade links with France.
He also took a keen interest in Dundalk’s political and economic history and the potential for greater links with Louth. The Ambassador acknowledged Louth’s unique position on the Dublin – Belfast Corridor and the designation of both Dundalk and Drogheda as Regional Growth Centres in the Government’s National Planning Framework and the opportunities this could present for French businesses.
The meeting concluded with an invitation to return to see Cooley and Carlingford Lough.