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Minister Flanagan meets his Australian counterpart, the Hon. Julie Bishop M.P., in Dublin


Minister Flanagan meets his Australian counterpart, the Hon. Julie Bishop M.P., in Dublin

Minister Flanagan met with Australian Foreign Minister, the Honourable Julie Bishop, at Iveagh House for talks today (Friday).

Discussing the excellent relationship between Ireland and Australia, Minister Flanagan noted that Australia has become home for countless Irish people over the past two centuries.

“In the 2011 census, nearly 2.1 million Australians indicated they had some Irish ancestry. Some one in three Australians can claim Irish heritage and many people identify strongly with their Irish roots. I was pleased to brief Minister Bishop on Ireland’s current priorities and on Northern Ireland.”

The European-Australian Business Council will visit Ireland this summer. The Ministers commented on the importance of strengthening trade and investment links between Ireland and Australia.

Minister Flanagan stated:

“Australia is an increasingly important market for Irish companies, in its own right and as a base for the Asia Pacific region. Currently, there are over 110 Irish companies with a presence in Australia while some 40 Australian companies have set up operations in Ireland. My Department is currently developing a new whole of Government cross-sectoral strategy for Asia-Pacific. I very much welcome Minister Bishop’s acknowledgement of the importance of enhanced Ireland-Australia relations in the context of Brexit.”

The Ministers discussed the opportunities and challenges that have arisen as a result of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

“Although Brexit will be a major focus for the EU in the period ahead, we should not lose sight of the need for concrete measures on jobs, growth and security – measures that improve the lives of our citizens, delivering stability and prosperity. An important part of this will be deepening relations with friends outside the EU, such as Australia” said Minister Flanagan.

Developments on the proposed EU – Australia Free Trade Agreement were discussed.

The Ministers spoke about Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023. Minister Flanagan stated:

“In August Ireland will host the Australian women’s team for the Women’s Rugby World Cup. We are delighted they have qualified and we look forward to giving them a warm Irish welcome. Ireland is also bidding to host the Men’s Rugby World Cup in 2023 and we are hoping for Australia’s support.”

2017 marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Ireland and Australia. A special photographic exhibition celebrating this anniversary will be hosted on the websites of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade in both countries. The exhibition consists of 70 photos charting the relationship between Ireland and Australia over the last 70 years.

Minister Flanagan concluded:

“It is a wonderful visual account of our relations over the last 70 years. The fact that the photographs make reference to the historic ties that existed long before the official bilateral relationship was established enriches it further”. “I am very pleased that we have the opportunity to launch the exhibition together here in Dublin.”

Ministers Patrick O’Donovan and David Stanton will undertake ‘Promote Ireland’ programmes in Australia to mark St. Patrick’s Day.

Press Office
24 February 2017