Council Chair hosts reception for Hungarian Ambassador

16th June 2023

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Ambassador, Councillors, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen

As Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all to The Grange, Omagh for today’s reception.

I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to His Excellency Dr Ferenc Kumin PhD and our Hungarian visitors.  I would also like to welcome Mr Ken Belshaw, Honorary Consul for Hungary in the North of Ireland.

Dr Kumin, I understand this is your first visit to the North of Ireland and we are delighted that you have chose to visit the Fermanagh and Omagh area.

You have an illustrious political and government career having served as the Deputy State Secretary for International Communications and were the Deputy Governments Spokeperson in the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office for 2 years; you were Consul General of Hungary in New York from 2014-2018 and from 2018 to 2020 you held the position of Deputy State Secretary for the Development of European and American Relations until you took up your current position as Ambassador.

I understand in your role as Ambassador, key priorities for you are investment, trade relations and cultural diplomacy.  These are similar to the objectives for our Council, which include expanding our economy; ensuring the District is a great place to live, work, visit and invest in that it is welcoming, shared and inclusive.

I was pleased to learn that you are visiting businesses and organisation in the District who are actively engaging with and supporting the integration of the Hungarian community in the District.

These organisations include Telestack, Omagh High School, the Hungarian Association of Northern Ireland and Omagh Ethnic Community Support Group.  I am pleased that some of the representatives are with us today and I thank you for your ongoing work and support with our Hungarian community here in the District.

Moving to Fermanagh and Omagh means you have to adapt to the language, food and culture whilst trying to also maintain your own culture and traditions.  This undoubtedly brings a number of challenges.  Consequently, it is important that our local residents are welcoming and provide valuable support to enable those choosing to make their home in the District feel part of the local community.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to promoting equality and good relations for everyone in the District.  Equality, inclusivity and diversity are at the core of all Council services and actions as it strives towards achieving a shared future for all.

This objective is advanced by all Council Services, led by the Good Relations Service.  We are fortunate that our residents also play an active role in promoting Good Relations through their welcoming and supportive nature.

At this point, I would like to thank Honorary Consul Mr Ken Belshaw for his work in organising and coordinating this visit and for your ongoing work regionally for the Hungarian community.

On behalf of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and on my own behalf, I would like to thank you again for coming to the Fermanagh and Omagh area on your first visit to the region.  I hope you have enjoyed your time here and that you will promote all that our District has to offer to your people back in Hungary.

Thank you.