By Suzanne Pender
THE health, educational and business links between India and Carlow were enhanced even further last week following a visit to Carlow by the Indian ambassador to Ireland.
Mr Sandeep Kumar enjoyed a two-day itinerary in the county, visiting a number of locations, including IT Carlow, the offices of Carlow County Council, Carlow District Hospital, Tegasc Oak Park, Visual and Burnside Eurocyl Ltd.
The ambassador was particularly keen to meet frontline workers in Carlow, to pay respect to them for exceptional services during pandemic.
“Carlow doesn’t have a large Indian community, but there are a number of people working in the healthcare sector in particular and also a number of students in our colleges,” explained Michael Rainey, director of services at Carlow County Council.
“The ambassador has a very good understanding and knowledge of Carlow, while we also discussed the challenges we all face around the issue of Covid-19,” said Mr Rainey.
Since his appointment in 2018, Mr Kumar has committed to an outreach programme around the country, visiting towns to not only engage with the Indian community but to also enhance relations with India across a range of business, educational and healthcare sectors.
His trip to Carlow fully adhered to health protocols.
Among those Mr Kumar met were cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council Tom O’Neill, council chief executive Kathleen Holohan, deputy Jennifer Murnane O’Connor, president of Co Carlow Chamber of Commerce Colin Duggan and its CEO Brian O’Farrell, Declan Doyle of IT Carlow as well as Indian students and researchers and Emma-Lucy O’Brien at Visual.
On the business front, Mr Kumar made site visits to the Teagasc crops research centre at Oak Park, where he met head of environment, crops and land use programme John Spink and also to Burnside Eurocyl Ltd, where he met co-founders Tom and Anthony Byrne.
At Carlow Enterprise Centre, Mr Kumar also met local entrepreneurs across a diverse range of businesses and services.