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Ireland's Minister of Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor visits Kansas City

Posted at 9:57 PM, Mar 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-17 23:55:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It was a sea of green early Sunday morning as it usually is on St. Patrick's Day at Browne's Irish Marketplace.

"It's so exciting," said Cyndy Daniel, who was making her first visit to Browne's. "It's like we are all coming together and just one big family."

Some came for the food, while others were preparing for the parade.

A special guest, Ireland's Minister of Higher Education Mary Mitchell O'Connor, greeted them all.

O'Connor is visited select states on a U.S. tour.

"The Irish government have sent all of their ministers all over the world really to say thank you to our diaspora," O'Connor said.

The Kansas City area is one of her final stops.

"It's so amazing to have a direct connection to Ireland," said John McClain, one of the owner's of Browne's.

O'Connor said she was impressed by Kansas City's Irish pride.

"Kansas City has a huge Irish culture," she said. "We are here to celebrate Irish culture and Irish heritage."

O'Connor also appreciated people embracing the holiday.

"It means so much and it means so much to the people back home and it means so much to the Irish government," said O'Connor, who planned to meet with Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday and stop by Lawrence, Kansas.