US friends of St Patrick grace Ireland

US friends of St Patrick grace Ireland Some of the ambassadors on a previous trip. Photo: St Patrick Centre NI

The Saint Patrick Centre’s Young Ambassadors from the United States have concluded a whistlestop tour which included a visit with the First and Deputy First Ministers at Stormont.

Sixteen Young Ambassadors, who took part in the programme, also met the former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern in Dublin as part of the annual programme this year.

The ambassadors came from cities such as San Francisco California, Phoenix, Arizona, Charleston, North Carolina as well as regions in New York and Ohio and other midwestern states.

The programme, now in its 18th year, seeks to bring members of the international Saint Patrick Centre’s Friends organisation to Downpatrick.

This year the Centre also worked with the Ancient Order of Hibernians in America to bring 11 young Hibernians as part of the experience.

“The AOH is the largest Irish organisation outside of Ireland with 40,000 members, and this will be an ongoing commitment from the AOH,” said Dr Tim Campbell, Centre Director. “This  was agreed at their national convention last November.”

All the Young Ambassadors stayed for two weeks in Newcastle, Co. Down, where they were able to learn about the county so they can go home and promote St Patrick and the place of outstanding natural beauty where he began his mission.