Dáil debates

Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Visit of Slovak Delegation


12:45 pm

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Ceann Comhairle) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister. I ask the Clerk to stop the clock because we have been joined by a very special guest. I ask Members to extend a warm céad míle fáilte to my counterpart from the Slovak Republic, H.E. Mr. Peter Pellegrini, who is leading a delegation to Dublin and who joins us in the Distinguished Visitors Gallery. Mr. Pellegrini is a former Prime Minister and is currently contesting the election for the Presidency of the Slovak Republic. During his short visit to this country, he will meet members of the Slovak community. We have about 20,000 of Mr. Pellegrini's citizens on loan from his country. They are making a huge and valuable contribution to this country. I note that one of the people Mr. Pellegrini intends to meet is the famous Joe Veselsky, who was born in 1918 and is now one of the oldest Slovak citizens living anywhere in the world. Joe fought in the Slovak national uprising against the Nazis in 1944. He lost his parents in the Holocaust. He has lived in Ireland since 1949, where he has distinguished himself as a tennis instructor and has won many awards. I also welcome the ambassador, H.E Andrej Droba, who is doing a sterling job on behalf of his country here in Ireland. It is great to have them with us. Given that Mr. Pellegrini is a visitor, it is probably safe to wish him well in the election as well.


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