When the Queen made her historic visit to Ireland in 2011, the country was cast onto the world stage. Millions watched her visit to the English Market in Cork, which was broadcast worldwide. The stallholders of Cork’s permanent food market put on a pretty fine job of showcasing their magnificent food emporium to the royal party. The famous photograph of the Queen laughing heartily with fishmonger Pat O’Connell of K’Oconnell’s fresh fish stall in the market remains the iconic image of the visit, and Pat’s ‘Mother in Law’ joke which made the Queen laugh so much, has led to a personal connection between Her Majesty and the Cork fishmonger. This week’s royal visit to Ireland by Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, seems also set to showcase Ireland’s wonderful food and tourism attractions to the world. Yesterday, the Prince was photographed visiting the moonscape of the Burren in Co. Clare, a unique place we assume would be very close to his personal interests in the countryside. Meanwhile, the Duchess was seen chatting enthusiastically to food producers and chefs, including our own JP McMahon of Aniar in Galway, at a special feast of regional foods from the Wild Atlantic Way. The couple are set to visit Sligo and it’s beautiful coastline, before travelling to various venues in Northern Ireland, as part of their four day visit. Once again the island of Ireland will be shown on the world stage to be a country of many personalities, with a geologically rich landscape, a food, farming and marine heritage which rivals anywhere in the world, arts and music in abundance. We hope to welcome many holiday makers from near and far in this coming summer season to our diverse country, and to enrich their vacation weeks with many happy memories of the great Irish welcome the royal couple are no doubt recieving this week.