30/06/2004

Business leaders meet Prince Andrew at Garden Party

Prince Andrew met business leaders and senior figures in Northern Ireland when he attended the Secretary of State's garden party at Hillsborough Castle yesterday afternoon.

During the event, the Prince met some of the 2,500 invited guests, many of whom are involved in Business Excellence and Innovation, the theme of the garden party.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Barry Gardiner, introduced Leslie Morrison, the Chief Executive of Invest NI, who invited His Royal Highness to meet representatives from the Northern Ireland companies who received the Queen's Award for Enterprise 2004. His Royal Highness heard about the work of the five companies - Andor Technology; The McAvoy Group; Nicrobrand; Tobermore Concrete Products and UPU Industries.

Earlier, accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, Colonel William Hall, and the Secretary of State, Paul Murphy, the Prince met PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde and General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland Lieutenant-General Philip Trousdell.

Speaking to the guests, The Secretary of State said: "I am pleased that His Royal Highness has had the opportunity to meet with so many of the guests who are involved in business life in Northern Ireland.

"This Garden Party provides a valuable opportunity to recognise their contribution and to hear at first hand of many different innovative approaches to business."

As part of the engagement, the Secretary of State invited the Prince to plant a tree, assisted by Mr Desmond Reynolds, Gardener at Hillsborough Castle.

Comber Silver Band provided music throughout the afternoon.

(SP)

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