Address by the Minister for Finance, Brian Cowen, TD, at the inauguration of the restoration works at the Louvain Institute for
President, distinguished guests, supporters, ladies and gentlemen…..
I am particularly pleased to be here this evening in a place which is steeped in history situated in the vibrant university city of Louvain. This is a city which has a rich and proud tradition of teaching and learning to which the Irish College, formerly based here, made a significant contribution over the years; a tradition, which I am glad to say, is being continued by the Louvain Institute for
Since the establishment of the Institute here in the early 1980s it has played a very important role in facilitating EU awareness for a wide range of public service organisations in
I have no doubt that the Institute will rise to the challenge presented by the enlarging Union and that you will play an important role in assisting our private and public sectors in their understanding of the enlarged Union. Indeed, you may also have an important role to play in assisting Irish trade and professional organisations from both the North and South, many of whom you already deal with, in availing of business opportunities presented by the larger Single Market. This is important for
Guaranteed, unimpeded access to the EU market of some 450 million consumers can only be of benefit to both our indigenous enterprises and many of the multinationals that have chosen
It is appropriate in such an historic and cultural setting to acknowledge the Institute’s role in promoting and facilitating in continental Europe, all forms of Irish cultural activity from both parts of
I would like to acknowledge the considerable work already done to get the project to this stage and to say that the Irish Government is delighted to be associated both in terms of the technical and professional involvement of the Office of Public Works (OPW) and through the provision of funding. I am also aware of the important contribution made and involvement of the Construction Service Department representing the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister in
President, you will, of course, require additional funding and I would like to also acknowledge the generosity and support of those in the private sector who have indicated a willingness to support this worthwhile project. I understand that there has already been significant interest from the private sector in providing additional funding and I am told that Peter Sutherland and Ruairi Quinn have been particularly helpful in this regard. I am sure that with their support and assistance and through your own commitment that you will succeed.
President, a special word of thinks to you personally for your vision, for your commitment, for your dedication, for your enthusiasm and for the leadership you and the Director General of the Institute, Malachy Vallely, have brought to this project. I have no doubt that with your continued guidance and leadership this restoration project will result in a new Irish College here in Louvain that we will all be proud of for years to come.
It gives me great pleasure to formally inaugurate the restoration works here and I look forward to receiving an invitation from you during 2007 when the restoration works are finished in time for the double celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Irish College here and the 25th anniversary of the Institute.
Keep up the very good that is being carried on here.
Go raibh maith agat.