Newry.ie

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey, in conjunction with Madam Meifang Zhang, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China (Belfast), hosted a reception on Thursday 16 January 2020 to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Ms Chuandan Zhao from Confucius Institute at Ulster University performs 'Face Changing' from Sichuan Opera.
Ms Chuandan Zhao from Confucius Institute at Ulster University performs 'Face Changing' from Sichuan Opera.

The reception, which was a fantastic showcase of Chinese and Irish culture featuring a traditional Chinese buffet by Bravo Lives Cuisine Restaurant, was attended by Minister of Finance, Conor Murphy; elected representatives; representatives from the Chinese community and the Confucius Institute at Ulster University; Paul Convery, President and Colm Shannon, Chief Executive of Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade; local businesses; Conor Patterson from Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency; Brian Doran, Chief Executive of Southern Regional College and local secondary school principals.

Madam Meifang Zhang Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Belfast with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey at the celebration event of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Madam Meifang Zhang Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Belfast with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey at the celebration event of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Speaking at the event Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “It is an honour to celebrate not just the start of the 2020 Chinese New Year - the year of the rat, but also the links between China and our district.

“The year of the rat symbolises prosperity, vitality, optimism, energy and intelligence.  This symbolism indicates that 2020 will be a period of growth, success, hopefulness and positivity - these are all qualities that we are looking forward to enjoying in the coming months.”

Councillor Casey continued, “The Council, along with Southern Regional College and Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade, has been developing its relationship with China through building strong connections with the Consul General, Madam Zhang, the Confucius Institute at Ulster University, and the Northern Ireland Bureau in China. We are also engaging with our City of Friendship, Changchun to further progress and enable opportunities in trade, tourism and skills. The symbolism of growth and prosperity for 2020 is a promising sign for our relationship, as we develop plans for further exchanges.” 

Irish dancing display by Majella McEntggart's School of Irish Dancing.
An Irish dancing display by Majella McEntggart's School of Irish Dancing.

Consul General Madam Meifang Zhang said, “I am delighted to jointly host this celebration to showcase traditional Chinese and Irish cultural dance and music.  I am looking forward to building on our existing relationship with the Council and its partners to benefit from mutual exchanges in areas such as tourism and trade.”

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