The Midlands and the maple leaf - Canadian Ambassador visits the Midlands

The Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Loyola Hearn visited the Midlands this week and spent some time visiting projects associated with the development agency Atlantic Corridor. The agency has links in Canada through the Ireland-Canada Chamber.

Ambassador Hearn visited Gallen Community School, Ferbane where he met students involved in the new computer programming course Scratch which is been delivered by Athlone Institute of Technology in Ferbane and facilitated by Atlantic Corridor. The Ambassador has a strong interest in education, having worked as a teacher and served in provincial government in Canada as Education Minister.

Ambassador Hearn also visited Scoil Mhuire, Tullamore where he met students and teachers who have been involved in a number of science and technology initiatives pioneered by Atlantic Corridor. He also met with local companies such as The Virtual Classroom, NIS, and R & R Projects.

During his visit, the Ambassador was presented with an original photograph entitled ‘Horse-trading at the Ballinasloe Fair’, the work of Mark Duffy from Athlone. The photo depicts a number of hands involved in sealing a deal at the well-known horse fair. A photographer with a growing reputation, Mark Duffy has exhibited in Ireland and Mexico. The photo captures a moment in time which celebrates the Irish love of horses and making a deal.

Commenting on the visit CEO of Atlantic Corridor, Jackie Gorman, said “We were delighted to welcome Ambassador Hearn to the Midlands region and have the opportunity to introduce him to some projects we are working on and also to visit some places of interest in the Midlands.

“Atlantic Corridor continues to work on developing links for education and business between the Midlands and Canada. We have also been involved for the past year on an all-island tourism project entitled the International Appalachian Trail, which we hope will extend to the Midlands, providing valuable tourism links with the Canadian market. We recently awarded two Ireland Canada University Foundation scholarships which will also further education and research links between the Midlands region and Canada.”

Further information on Atlantic Corridor can be found on and on the Canadian Embassy in Ireland on


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