News & Events

Minister Breen begins St Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” Programme in Scotland

The Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, today begins a four-day official visit to Scotland as part of the Government’s St. Patrick’s Day “Promote Ireland” programme. During his visit, Minister Breen will meet with senior Scottish Government representatives in Edinburgh, undertake a range of engagements to support Irish companies operating in the Scottish market, and represent the Government at major St. Patrick’s Day Festivals in Glasgow and in the town of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire. The programme for the Minister’s visit has been developed by the Consulate General of Ireland in Edinburgh in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland.

Today, (Wednesday) Minister Breen will meet with Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP, to discuss Irish-Scottish economic cooperation and shared economic challenges. On Thursday 15 March, he will speak at a St. Patrick’s Day Business Breakfast in Edinburgh before travelling to Humbie in East Lothian to visit Windymains Timber, part of the Longford-based firm Glennon Brothers, and meet with key company clients. That evening, the Minister will be the guest of honour at a St. Patrick’s Day reception in Edinburgh hosted by the Consul General of Ireland, and will address the 400 guests at the event alongside Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, and the Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Christine Grahame MSP.

On Friday 16 March, Minister Breen will participate in a business event hosted by Causeway Ireland-Scotland Business Exchange, bringing together Irish and Scottish business figures with representatives of universities and innovation centres to discuss the theme “Driving Innovation for Business: Increasing Celtic Cooperation”. The Minister will also visit the University of Edinburgh to explore its work in the area of data science and innovation, and Edinburgh Napier University to learn about the work of its Biofuel Research Centre and the success of Irish-led spin-out firm Celtic Renewables.

On St. Patrick’s Day itself, Saturday 17 March, Minister Breen will travel to Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire to participate in the opening ceremonies for the Coatbridge St. Patrick’s Day Family Street Festival. He will then travel on to Glasgow to participate in the Glasgow St. Patrick’s Festival Family Day at Merchant Square, before concluding his visit with a speech that evening at the annual Glasgow St. Patrick’s Day Charity Ball.

Minister Breen said: “Ireland’s economic links with Scotland are significant and are continuing to strengthen. As Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon noted during her recent visit to Dublin, more than 100 Irish companies have investments in Scotland. It is an important part of an overall UK-Ireland economic relationship which accounts for approximately €1.2 billion per week in goods and services trade, sustaining 200,000 jobs in Ireland. There are significant opportunities for Irish businesses in Scotland and for enhanced bilateral trade, investment and tourism links. I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit this week and to support the work of the Irish Consulate, Enterprise Ireland and Tourism Ireland in developing these opportunities.”

“Scotland is also home to a large and vibrant Irish community, with 60,000 Scottish residents born on the island of Ireland and many more with family links stretching back through the generations. I’m looking forward to joining Irish communities in Edinburgh, Coatbridge and Glasgow to celebrate Irish culture and heritage and the strong links which connect Ireland and Scotland today.


For further information contact Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation: Phone: 01- 6312200; email: