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'India is an extraordinary country'

Treena Mukherjee, Dec 4, 2012 1:04 IST
deep connect Feilim McLaughlin

The dreadful fate of Savita Halappanavar might have intimidated many settled in Ireland — however, Feilim McLaughlin, the Irish ambassador to India, is making an effort to reinstate the belief of Indians in the country.

In fact, he has a deep connect with the City – his great-grandmother was from Bangalore.

“My great-grandparents lived in the City for 25 years. I have been staying in this country for a long time and my family loves it here. In fact, my daughter longs to come back here when she is away for a tour or on a holiday — she calls it home,” he informs.

He adds that the City is full of life and very youthful. “It has so many great places to hang out. There is an amalgamation of traditional values and modern notions.

On one hand, you can see the pubs and on the other, you can see the traditional set up of families. I feel there is a lot in common between Ireland and India. Cricket is one such thing; also, I feel that we have similar value systems — especially when it comes to family values,” he explains.

He feels that the City is very business-oriented and a great place to start up one’s own venture.

“I’ve spotted so many shops and entrepreneurs on the streets. It is incredible — it’s a City which supports entrepreneurs and is very encouraging for people who want to start a new venture,” he says.

Surprisingly, he is not only aware of Bollywood, but is also a huge fan.
“I like the Hindi film industry. Many films have been shot in the capital city of our country, Ek Tha Tiger being a recent one.

Cricket is another thing which bonds both our countries. I was there in Colombo to watch the ‘T-20 World Cup’ this time around and it was a lot of fun. It will be great if cricketers from Ireland can be a part of the IPL — it will be very exciting for us,” he notes.

“We are also looking at improving our bilateral relations with India and hope that many new ventures are flagged off between the two countries. India has a great potential and has a stable economy.

We also want to see a greater presence of Indian students and academicians in Ireland. Our country is one of the safest places to be — the countryside has a breathtaking view and the Irish hospitality is famous all over the world,” he informs.

Talking about the standards of education here, he says that the IITs and the IIMs are some of the best institutes in the world.

“I have been lucky enough to meet some of the noted academicians of the country and it has been a great experience.

I was very impressed; there is such a dynamic academic culture in the country. It’s fascinating to see

how the various academic institutions are hand-in-glove with the corporates — even the corporates have an education programme of their own. India, I feel, is an extraordinary country.

It is so colourful and vibrant. My children love the countryside and are quite at home in Delhi. They love biking on the roads and visiting the various places in the country,” he adds.

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