DUBLIN: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday promised a cheering Indian diaspora that in future, prime ministerial visits from India would not come after so many years.
Modi, who is on a day-long visit to Ireland, in his address to a crowded reception by the Indian diaspora apologised for not being able to give the Indian-origin people more time.
Taking a dig at previous governments for not having visited Ireland earlier, Modi said "There are many who would remember that sometime (in the distant past) an Indian prime minister came to Ireland" evoking laughter from the rapturous crowd.
Modi's visit is the first prime ministerial visit in 59 years.
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In a veiled dig at previous Congress-led governments, he said that every year when Indian dignitaries fly to the US, they have to fly via Ireland, implying that earlier the leaders did not bother to touch down in Ireland.
"When people have to go from Delhi to New York, they have to fly this way. But your love for me drew me here, and pulled me down from the sky," he said to loud cries of "Modi, Modi".
Modi said he spoke at length with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and had a very good meeting and there were many areas of convergence between the two sides.
"I think Ireland-India relations should be mere stronger," he said.