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Cork Town Hall

Speech by HM the King in Cork during a state visit to Ireland, september.2006.

Lord Mayor,
Lady Mayoress,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Queen and I would like to thank you for your warm words of welcome. And I would like to express to you, and through you – to the people of Cork – our deep appreciation of the friendship and the hospitality extended to us and to our delegation. I would also like to thank you for the generous gift presented to us.

It is no coincidence that our visit to Ireland includes a stop in Cork. Like many other cities on the east coast of Ireland, Cork has historic links with Norway. Trade has taken place between the Cork region and Norway for centuries, not least because Cork Harbour has been – and continues to be – one of the major ports in Ireland. Shipping has traditionally been one of the pillars of the Norwegian economy and it is an important factor in Norway’s contact with other countries. The Royal Yacht is not the first Norwegian vessel to anchor in Cork this year. Nor will it be the last. I feel, however, that it is symbolic that, on an occasion like today, the Queen and I should arrive by boat.

The importance of the sea for both our countries was affirmed this morning at the conference currently taking place at the impressive new National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy.

We are aware that Cork has seen major economic developments in recent decades and that the city has, in many ways, been transformed. Major international investments have been made here, not least by pharmaceutical companies. In fact pharmaceutical products account for a major part of Ireland’s total export to Norway.

Cork is known for its many famous silversmiths. For centuries, silver has been the main metal used by Norwegian jewellers. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to present an exhibition of modern Norwegian jewellery at the Public Museum. This exhibition will be opened by Her Majesty this afternoon.

Once again, thank you for your hospitality. I wish you every success with your future work.


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